Impact of COVID-19 on Tobacco Cessation
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Every year, North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) analyzes data on quitline services and reports the results.
“In calendar year 2020, calls through 1-800-QUIT-NOW decreased by 27% (over 190,000 calls). The decrease in calls mirrored the timeline of the pandemic, with a 6% decrease in the first quarter of 2020 (January – March), followed by decreases of 39%, 30%, and 21% for quarters two, three and four. Research suggests that the stress and anxiety resulting from the pandemic may be factors in the increased use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances. NAQC suggests that these factors may have contributed to the decrease in calls to quitlines.
Messaging on the importance of smoking cessation during the pandemic and the availability of effective cessation services needs to be amplified. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our progress on smoking cessation in 2020, but this does not need to be the case in 2021.”
– Linda Bailey, JD, MHS President and CEO, North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC)