Quit­ting habit? Don’t do it alone

Stanthorpe Border Post - - LIFESTYLE -

LONELY peo­ple find it harder to quit smok­ing, a study sug­gests.

They are also more likely to pick up the habit and smoke more if they do, re­searchers in the UK say.

But the Bris­tol Univer­sity study sug­gests smok­ing can ac­tu­ally in­crease feel­ings of lone­li­ness.

The re­searchers say the find­ing was ten­ta­tive but was in line with other stud­ies link­ing smok­ing to poor men­tal health. It could be be­cause nico­tine from cig­a­rette smoke in­ter­feres with chem­i­cals in the brain.

Re­searcher Dr Robyn Woot­ton said: “Sud­denly, the whole of the UK has be­come more so­cially iso­lated than ever be­fore, and for many peo­ple this will likely in­crease their lone­li­ness.

“We were re­ally in­ter­ested to find that lone­li­ness de­creases the like­li­hood of stop­ping smok­ing and we think this is a re­ally im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion for those try­ing to stop smok­ing dur­ing the pan­demic.”

The team hopes their find­ings will help or­gan­i­sa­tions who help peo­ple quit smok­ing, as well as giv­ing peo­ple an in­cen­tive to do so.

“We are still yet to see the full ef­fects of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic on al­co­hol and cig­a­rette use in the UK.

“Whilst our study does not look at the ef­fects of lone­li­ness and so­cial iso­la­tion as the re­sult of the pan­demic, it can shed some light on the con­se­quences of lone­li­ness in gen­eral,” Dr Wooten said.

Lonely peo­ple may find it harder to quit smok­ing.

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