COVID-19 has torn through the fabric of our lives all over the world - with over 20M cases and nearly 1M deaths, and a global collapse in GDP that is historically unprecedented. Will it have long term impact, and what will that look like - economically, politically, and socially?
Coronavirus will impact the way we liveShow moreShow less
Outside of the 'big picture', coronavirus is likely to have significant impact on our everyday lives.
COVID-19 is likely to have an impact upon smoking rates for several reasons.
Firstly, the threat of serious respiratory disease and a higher death rate from smoking will lead many people to cut back or quit smoking.
Secondly, those who develop the disease may have to stop smoking due to severe respiratory symptoms and if people are hospitalised. Many that are forced to quit for a few weeks will have gone through the worst part of withdrawal so may use the opportunity to not start again.
Finally, smokers are much more likely to die of COVID-19 hence its significant impact in countries with high smoking rates like China and Italy – where it is 21%. The significantly higher death rates amongst Chinese men is also reflected in much higher smoking rates amongst men - 288 million Chinese men compared with 12·6 million women in 2018).. So when COVID-19 recedes there will be literally less smokers around.