ROUNDUP / Addiction as a consequence of the pandemic: more smokers and questionable alcohol consumption

Monday, 12/27/2021 9:26 AM from


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Tobacco plants in a field (symbolic image).

BERLIN / DÜSSELDORF (dpa-AFX) – More obesity, more mental problems, especially with younger people, more problematic cell phone use – it is now becoming increasingly clear what consequences the pandemic has for the health of many people. The proportion of smokers in Germany is apparently suddenly rising again: it is currently almost 31 percent among people aged 14 and over, as the representative long-term study Debra (German survey on smoking behavior) shows. At the end of 2019, before Corona, the proportion of smokers in the population was still around 27 percent.

It is likely that more fresh ex-smokers relapsed last year, says addiction researcher and Debra director Daniel Kotz of the German press agency. “Whether corona stress or the general effects of the pandemic are playing a role here is a bit speculative, but it can be.”

There were also changes in alcohol consumption. In the wake of the corona pandemic, there were fewer opportunities to drink together, says addiction doctor and medical director Falk Kiefer from the Central Institute for Mental Health in Mannheim. Nevertheless, the average alcohol consumption in Germany remained roughly the same compared to the time before the pandemic.

And there is one more thing in common with smoking: the difficulty of getting rid of it. Serious withdrawal symptoms threaten. “Alcohol has the property that you get used to it,” says Kreider. According to the 2018 Epidemiological Addiction Survey, 6.7 million people in Germany between the ages of 18 and 64 consume alcohol in a form that is hazardous to health. About 1.6 million people in this age group are considered dependent on alcohol. / Hu / DP / nas


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