Smoking rate during pandemic decreases
The number of those who asked for help to quit smoking quadrupled during the pandemic after warnings that smokers were less likely to overcome the disease, according to a study conducted by the Turkish Green Crescent, an association that combats with smoking and alcoholism.
Some 95 percent of the respondents said they were active smokers and 5 percent were people who stopped smoking, as the research was conducted in 26 provinces with 2,500 people over the age of 15.
One in four people reduced smoking during the pandemic, according to the results of the research.
Around 85 percent of the respondents said they reduced smoking during the outbreak and added that believe that smoking negatively affects coronavirus treatment.
People who distance themselves from smoking have the necessary information about the negative effects of the disease on smoking, the research noted.
While 35 percent of respondents said in 2017 they thought about quitting smoking, this rate exceeded 58 percent this year, according to the research.
The research also reveals that the number of people who tried to quit smoking increased in 2019.
More people in Turkey are smoking despite recent government-initiated regulations and campaigns discouraging the unhealthy habit.
Estimates indicate that about 14.5 million adults and 252,000 children in Turkey use tobacco every day.
The research revealed that the people who reduced smoking during the pandemic were healthcare workers who were in contact with the disease and those who shared the same houses with healthcare workers.
Tens of thousands of calls have been made to the Green Crescent Counseling Center (YEDAM) related to tobacco addiction since March 11, when the first coronavirus case was seen in the country, according to the information given by the association.
While 25 percent of these calls were related to tobacco addiction, tobacco-specific calls increased four times during the pandemic.
Turkish men’s rate of death from smoking is the second highest in the world after North Korea.
A total of 2.5 million medical examinations have been conducted at clinics in 2019 in Turkey, which has 521 smoking cessation clinics.
Meanwhile, smoking habits of a sample group of 10,000 people was followed between April 15 and June 20 in the United Kingdom, which is one of the European countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Over a million people have quit smoking since April when the outbreak began in U.K., according to the research.