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The California Lockdown Caused Lighting up of More Cigarettes

The effects of the coronavirus Lockdown have been felt all around the globe. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on people’s mental health and sense of normalcy, leading them to revert to new and familiar behaviors to cope.

Following the COVID-19 Lockdown order in California, smokers reported consuming more cigarettes, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Researchers from UC Merced’s Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center (NCPC) studied adult smokers’ habits in an 11-county region of Central California before and after the California COVID-19 lockout order went into effect.

According to the research, adults who replied to the survey after the state-mandated stay-at-home order went into force had more excellent cigarette use rates than those surveyed before the lockout went into force. In the case of e-cigarettes, the researchers discovered the opposite. After the Lockdown, adults who replied to the survey had lower e-cigarette consumption rates than those who responded to the study before the stay-at-home order.

While the researchers did not ask smokers why their consumption patterns changed, they hypothesized that increased stress, other mental health difficulties, and working from home could be factors. When smokers stayed at home during the Lockdown they were no longer covered by California’s smoke-free workplace rules, which prohibit smoking and vaping in public places.

This is significant because smoke-free legislation, such as those barring smoking in the workplace, may be an effective strategy for protecting people from harmful secondhand smoke and encouraging smokers to cut down on their cigarette consumption or quit entirely.

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