Stress - Driving some Americans to delay quitting..

November 11, 2008 - Stress caused by a slowing economy, shrinking retirement accounts and rising unemployment rates is driving some American smokers to increase the habit or delay quitting, according to a new survey.

The Washington, D.C.-based anti-smoking advocacy group, American Legacy Foundation, commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the online poll of 2,375 Americans 18 years old and older. Women smokers were more likely to smoke more due to worries about the economy, with 31 percent reporting they did, compared to 17 percent of men. A higher percentage (38 percent) of lower-income smokers-- those with a household income of $35,000 or less -- reported that they smoke more cigarettes per day due to the economy, the survey showed. Unemployed smokers were also more likely to boost smoking due to the financial crisis, with 29 percent smoke more compared to 17 percent of employed smokers. Former smokers are also not immune to the trend. The survey showed that seven percent of current smokers said their anxiety about the economy had driven them to start smoking again, while nine percent of former smokers were tempted to resume the habit.

But hard times have also encouraged smokers to be more thrifty. One fifth of smokers who are stressed about the economy said they switched to a cheaper brand to save money.

Reference: Hard times prompt Americans to increase smoking, Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; editing by Patricia Reaney, Reuters, 11/10/2008.

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Click on image to enlarge.. - image from Lakehead University collection.