Scientists say more and more people are using the pandemic to kick the habit amid fears tobacco use could heighten Covid-19 risks.

Researchers in the UK have published data suggesting more people are giving up smoking, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pollster, YouGov, found that 41 percent of people who had quit this year had done so because of the coronavirus.

In a separate study by University College London, researchers covering the first half of the year found that more than a million people had dropped the habit.

Their findings correspond to Turkish anti-smoking experts, who suggested more people in the country were looking at ways of giving up smoking.

Doctors believe that smokers are more at risk of developing the most severe coronavirus symptoms than those who do not smoke.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned that the disease, which originated in China late last year, poses particular risks to smokers.

In a statement, the WHO said: “COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronaviruses and other diseases.”

Immediate benefits

According to the UN health body, people who stop smoking begin benefitting from blood pressure normalisation within days. After a period of between two and 12 weeks, heart and lung function also normalises.

It takes nine months for shortness of breath and coughing associated with smoking to go away.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of the anti-smoking organisation, ASH, said: “Over a million smokers have succeeded in stopping smoking since Covid-19 hit Britain, but that is still nearly five times as many who have carried on smoking.

“This campaign is designed to encourage those who’ve not yet succeeded, to wake up and decide today is the day to stop smoking.”

The Coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 16.4 million people globally and killed over 650,000. Those with pre-existing conditions, such as respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, and those with diseases like obesity and diabetes, are most at risk of developing the most severe symptoms.

Source: TRT World