MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s safe to say 2020 has been a stressful year for several reasons. So it may surprise you that more than a million people in Britain found it the perfect time to quit smoking.
Joanne Hart never wanted anyone to see her smoking, so she hid her habit. Now, in the middle of the pandemic, she decided it was finally time to quit.
“I found that it’s been easier for me because everything has changed, my whole routine has changed,” she said.
Hart isn’t alone.
The group Action on Smoking and Health, or ASH, recently surveyed more than 10,000 people in the UK and found more than 40% stopped smoking because of the pandemic, citing the cost, their health and changes to routine.
“Some of the people that I have talked to who have quit smoking since COVID have actually said, ‘Do you know what, lockdown, the complete change in my circumstance, actually made this easier, not harder. You know, I wasn’t going to work smoking on my commute on the way in, I wasn’t going to the pub and having a cigarette there,'” said Hazel Cheeseman, the policy director at ASH.
The survey shows more than one million people in Britain have kicked the habit since the pandemic hit. Because the coronavirus puts smokers at an increased risk for severe complications, experts hope more people do the same.
“Something that surprised us a bit was that younger smokers were about twice as likely to have successfully quit during lockdown compared to older smokers,” said Cheeseman.
“I was turning 40 and I didn’t want to be an older smoker, so lockdown and the coronavirus was the push for me to actually successfully give up,” said Hart.
She has since ran a marathon and isn’t looking back.
“I feel great. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m really proud that I’ve done it,” said Hart, who is achieving goals that will help her live a healthier life.
For anyone interested in giving up smoking, the CDC’s website offers some healthful tips and tools.