Home/ News / India/  Covid stress caused 67% of smokers to increase their cigarette smoking: Survey

A survey by ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd has reveals covid-19 pandemic-induced stress caused 67% of smokers to increase their cigarette smoking. On the other hand, 29% of the respondents reduced or were motivated to quit smoking out of fear for getting severely impacted with covid.

The findings are part of the survey, conducted ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, which covered a sample size of 785 respondents.

The survey focuses on understanding the impact of harmful substances on the body and mind, identifying key trends across cities with a high smoker population, studying the impact of covid related-stress on smokers, and decoding the perception difference amongst traditional and e-cigarette smokers.

The survey revealed that the inclination towards smoking had a mixed impact amid the pandemic. 

Notably, 48% of the smokers reduced their consumption of cigarettes. Among those in this category, 60% of the respondents highlighted reason to be the fear of increasing risk amid the pandemic, while 32% reduced or quit smoking due to non-availability of cigarettes. 

On the contrary, 38% increased their consumption of cigarettes in the same time period, out of which 77% cited stress as the reason and 67% mentioned boredom.

Understanding the triggers of smoking, the survey showed that youngsters started smoking out of curiosity and influence, whereas millennials cite stress as the primary reason.

“60% of the overall respondents started smoking between 18-25 years of age, while 56% took to smoking out of curiosity and 67% of respondents in this category were minors) when they started smoking. 65% of these respondents were staying away from their families," ICICI Lombard said.

Further, 55% started smoking under social influence and 57% of them belong to the age group of 18-25 years. Also, 43% of the respondents cited stress or anxiety as the reason to start smoking.

The survey further revealed that almost 80% of respondents are heavy smokers and started smoking when they were less than 18 years-old. They also expressed the need to smoke at least once in a day.

“47% of the respondents smoke several times in a day and 61% of smokers in this category are above 45 years of age. Further, 70% of the 45+ age group smoke indoors as compared to 53% from the lower age strata," the company said. 

Out of the respondents smoking several times in a day and classified as heavy smokers, 53% are from the tier II cities and among that 53% are from the eastern part of the country. 

Further, 50% of heavy smokers are men and 40% are women, while 81% men smoke outdoors as compared to 70% women.

Highlighting the preferential difference between traditional cigarettes against e-Cigarettes, the survey stated that 75% of men are inclined to traditional cigarettes as compared to 61% women, while 39% women prefer e-cigarettes as compared to 25% in men.

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Updated: 30 May 2022, 06:49 PM IST
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