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Understanding Behavior: From Neurons to Societies

Smokers Light Up More Cigarettes Following California COVID-19 Lockdown Order, Study Finds

May 29, 2021

This study on smoking during COVID-19 published by a team of scientist including, among others, Anna Epperson, Dianna Halliday, and Anna Song was featured in a recent UC Merced news feed: https://news.ucmerced.edu/news/2021/smokers-light-more-cigarettes-following-california-covid-19-lockdown-order-study-finds

According to a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, smokers reported smoking more cigarettes following the COVID-19 lockdown order in California. UC Merced's Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center (NCPC) researchers looked at the habits of adult smokers in an 11-county region in Central California both before and after the California COVID-19 lockdown order was implemented. A total of 1,510 adults were surveyed in early March 2020 and 1,061 in May 2020.

According to the report, as a group, adults who responded to the survey after the state-mandated stay-at-home order went into effect had higher cigarette consumption rates compared to cigarette users who were surveyed before the lockdown went into effect. They also found the opposite for e-cigarettes: Adults who responded to the survey post-lockdown had lower e-cigarette consumption rates compared with adults who responded to the survey before the stay-at-home order.