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Stay quit - don't let socialising get you hooked back on smoking

Socialising LOW


Fresh is encouraging ex-smokers who quit during Covid to stay stopped and not let outdoor socialising get them hooked again.

It comes as this weekend offers the first opportunity for people to meet friends and visit the pub again outdoors.


Fresh also responded to the publication of research by Mintel, [1] which found that over half of smokers are "stress-smoking" more, and 10% lighting up again after quitting.


If you believe that cutting down or only "social smoking" avoids the health risks, the truth is that smoking even just a few cigarettes a day significantly raises the risks of cancer and heart attack.


Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "If you've quit smoking, the worst thing of all is to think you can have the odd cigarette which can undo the brilliant achievement of quitting and get you hooked again. Light smoking is still smoking and carries with it substantial risks.


"If necessary, try to avoid putting yourself into situations where you might be tempted to smoke as going back to smoking is almost certainly something you will badly regret. Switching to vaping instead is one way people can quit and also avoid the temptation of smoking tobacco."


She added: "For many people the pandemic has been a wake-up call about health and thousands of people quit here in the North East. However we know some will have relapsed and others may be smoking more due to stress.


"There is brilliant support to quit out there and the improvements to health begin as soon as you stop. Although quitting can be stressful initially, research shows that six weeks is all it takes to give a boost to your mental health and to help reduce depression, anxiety and stress."


The stress of Covid-19 has fuelled Britain's nicotine habit, with more than half of smokers "stress-smoking" more, and 10% lighting up again after quitting, a survey by Mintel suggests.


Young people in particular are taking refuge in the habit, with 39% of smokers aged 18-34 saying they are now smoking more regularly, analysts Mintel reported.


Meanwhile, a further 10% of all smokers have started smoking again after quitting. Overall, 30% of smokers are smoking more regularly since the start of the pandemic.


More than four in 10 e-cigarette users (42%) are vaping more regularly too.


While smoking is increasing, two thirds of Britain's smokers (65%) say they are worried that the virus is more dangerous to them as a smoker.


A further seven in 10 (69%) say that their respiratory health is more important to them now than before the Covid-19 outbreak.


See the research at: