Calls to smoker quitlines plummeted 27% in 2020, according to the North American Quitline Consortium. Pandemic-related stress and anxiety are likely to blame, the group said.
In a new report, the group found quitline calls dropped 39% in the second quarter of last year, compared with 2019.
“Researchers noticed this changed also for alcohol and other substances, and have suggested that stress and anxiety that resulted from the pandemic may be factors that are driving up the use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances,” Linda Bailey, president and CEO of the North American Quitline Consortium, told HealthDay. “At the consortium, we believe that…stress and anxiety have also contributed to the decrease in people seeking help to quit tobacco use.”
According to the report, just over 525,000 calls were made to state quitlines through 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a 27% decrease from 2019 numbers and the lowest level seen since 2007.