Danish smokers bought less tobacco, and more of them quit smoking than usual during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research from the University of Copenhagen that monitored cigarette purchases from the March 2020 lockdown through the end of the year. Those who kept puffing also purchased significantly less tobacco, the study showed.
Among other things, the figures reveal that regular smokers bought 20 percent fewer cigarettes each week than before the pandemic. Meanwhile, the number of those who quit increased by 10 percent from the year prior.
“The big picture is that cigarette consumption fell during the pandemic,” said study author Toke Reinholt Fosgaard, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics. “It comes as somewhat of a surprise as one would expect to see people smoking more during a pandemic, a time when people felt worse psychologically and had fewer opportunities to move about. Yet, the opposite occurred.”
Fosgaard attributes the decline in tobacco consumption to the fact that smokers are at greater risk of developing severe Covid symptoms. “For a smoker, the consequences of smoking became more immediate, rather than a consequence in old age, as smokers suffer more severe cases of Covid,” he said.