Not the most pleasant reason, but still something to be happy about.
If there have been any minute upshots to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it has made people all over the world much more conscious about their health. For some, it’s about coming to terms with the fragility of the human condition and the preciousness of life. For others, it’s more about staving off potential health problems just so they don’t have to deal with that on top of an infectious disease. Whatever the reason, people are thinking more carefully about themselves, and nowhere is that clearer than in the United Kingdom.
According to a survey conducted by Action on Smoking and Health, a UK campaign encouraging people to quit smoking, over one million English citizens have kicked the nasty habit as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 41% of people who chose to stop smoking this year did so because of the pandemic, though it was not divulged for precisely what reason (lack of money for cigarettes, discouraged traveling, lack of social smoking opportunities, etc.). This is definitely a good thing, as epidemiologists worldwide have linked heavy smoking to the development of some of COVID-19’s more serious symptoms.
Interestingly, according to a separate study conducted by the University College London, there are fewer smokers currently in the UK’s population than any other survey year after 2007. Just to put the numbers to you, it was estimated that around 7 million UK citizens were regular smokers just a year ago. To see over a million of those folks drop the habit, even if, again, it wasn’t for the most pleasant of reasons, is a pretty monumental accomplishment for human health.