Smoking Cessation Activity Down in U.S. Adults During Pandemic

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

2019 to 2020 saw decrease in annual past-year quit attempt prevalence and lower-than-expected sales of lozenges, patches, gum

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) — From 2019 to 2020, there was a decrease in smoking cessation activity among U.S. adults, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in JAMA Network Open.

Priti Bandi, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined changes in smoking cessation-related behaviors in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic in a cross-sectional study conducted using 2011 to 2020 data for 788,008 individuals who had smoked in the past year and completed the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.

The researchers found that for the first time since 2011, between 2019 and 2020, there was a decrease in annual past-year quit attempt prevalence, from 65.2 to 63.2 percent, with the largest relative decreases seen among individuals aged 45 to 64 years (61.4 to 57.7 percent), those with two or more comorbidities (67.1 to 63.0 percent), and Black individuals (72.5 to 68.4 percent). During 2019 to 2020, there was no change observed in recent successful cessation. The observed sales during the COVID-19 pandemic were lower than expected by 13.0, 6.4, and 1.2 percent for nicotine lozenges, patches, and gum, respectively.

“These results, when taken together with reports of increased cigarette sales during the pandemic, suggest the urgent need to reengage smokers in evidence-based quitting strategies, especially among individuals experiencing disproportionately negative outcomes during the pandemic,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca.

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