A new study by Ipsos Mori, commissioned by McNeil Products Ltd, has found that many smokers are finding it tough to give up their habit due to the ongoing recession. The study, which quizzed 877 smokers and ex-smokers, found that some 23% of smokers had shelved plans to quit due to the stress they faced from the recession.
A further 28% blamed job and financial worries for not even attempting to quit during the past month or so. Many blamed the current economic situation, saying their stress levels had soared and they took to puffing to clam themselves. 73% said smoking a cigarette calmed them when they were stressed out.
"We know that the earlier people quit, the better, so we need to make sure that those who are delaying quit plans are being offered effective options and support to help them to stop smoking successfully," said Jennifer Percival, tobacco policy advisor at the Royal College of Nursing. She added that the findings were concerning.
However a spokesman for the smokers' lobby group Forest sang a different tune, "If people want to give up that's great, but there is no doubt smokers do derive some comfort from tobacco in times of stress."
The poll also found that many people were willing to give up spending on clothes and their weekly supermarket shop, but would not give up buying cigarettes. The details of the study are to be presented at the UK National Smoking Cessation Conference in London on Tuesday.