Quitting habit? Don’t do it alone
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.