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Saturday 29th October 2016

Fewer people give up smoking in recession

9th November 2010

Research from Cancer Research UK has suggested that smaller numbers of people attempted to quit smoking during the recession than before it started.


Figures revealed that in 2007, before the recession began, 32% of smokers stated that they had attempted to stop smoking in the last three months.

This figure dropped to 23% in the following year and fell to 22% in 2009. Data for 2010 suggested that only 17% of people who smoke were trying to give up.

Professor Robert West, director of tobacco studies at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, has tracked the amount of people who smoke in the UK and the numbers trying to quit since November 2006.

Professor West's research started before the smoking ban began in England in July 2007.

His research showed that the number of smokers trying to give up fell once the recession started.

Professor West said: "While no-one can be sure about the cause and effect with data of this kind, this could be another very damaging impact of the financial crisis."

"Obviously we can only guess at a link, but we know that when people are under stress and have bad things going on in their lives they shorten their horizons and focus on getting through, day to day. They don't have the mental energy to focus on doing things that are hard, like quitting smoking," he added.

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