Cigarette smoking may have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers hinted in a new study that the COVID-19 pandemic may have led to an increase in cigarette sales and consumption in the United States.

The research was shown in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may have been associated with changes in smoking behaviors,” the authors suggested in their findings.

The data studied involved monthly filings submitted by tobacco companies between January 2007 to June 2021. The data was retrieved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

From the journal’s results: “The finding shows a surge in cigarette sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. We estimated an increase of about 0.34 pack per month per capita, corresponding to about a 14.1% increase above the expected sales.”

“This study shows that increases in cigarette sales went beyond the first 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic and persisted in the 16 months after its onset in March 2020,” the authors explained in their findings.

“This finding is also consistent with anecdotal claims by the tobacco industry about halting the long-term decline in cigarette sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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