An extra 145 million cigarettes are expected to be bought over December

An extra 145 million cigarettes are expected to be bought over December

A poll of 2,000 smokers found they usually puff through an average of 13 cigarettes a day but 17% admit they smoke an average of four more during December as their resolve weakens.

This amounts to an extra 124 each over the course of the month.

More than four in 10 (41%) of those who will smoke more than usual blamed this on Christmas parties or socialising, but 36% put it down to trying to wrap up hectic work schedules before the year is out.

Others smoke thanks to the stress of trying to find perfect presents (22%).

A spokesperson for Philip Morris Limited (PML), which commissioned the study for Unsmoke UK, said: "Everyone deals with stress differently. While the holidays are a wonderful time of the year, it can also be stressful time compared to other months, so smoking increases as smokers’ resolve weakens.

"Cigarettes, however, don’t actually help you to de-stress and in fact, according to public health experts, could just be making your stress levels higher.

"Quitting is always the best option, but for those who don’t quit, switching to smoke-free alternatives is a better choice for adults this December compared to continuing to smoke.”

The study also found 69% admitted a cigarette is the first thing they turn to when they’re stressed, but then 56% end up feeling more worried at how smoking could affect their health.

But while 66% have had conversations with people about quitting, 36% have never tried to stop.

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Of the 64% who have attempted to quit, 53% have gone "cold turkey", and 42% switched to vaping.

But 66% said December would be a hard month to try and quit smoking because it’s "so stressful".

It also emerged 59% were unaware smoking can cause stress, but 43% claim they are more likely to quit knowing this.

Exercising (44%), listening to relaxing music (43%) and breathing exercises (34%) were the top alternative methods people have tried in a bid to de-stress.

Cleaning (31%), meditation (33%) and going for a drive (22%) also made the list.

Of those who took part in the study by OnePoll on behalf of PML and Unsmoke UK, 51% also admitted their smoking habit stresses out close family members and friends.


  1. Festive parties or social occasions
  2. The stress of trying to wrap up hectic work schedules before the year is out
  3. The stress of the season finally getting to them
  4. Struggling to find the perfect presents
  5. Worrying about getting everything done in time
  6. Pressures from other people who smoke
  7. Worrying about paying for Christmas
  8. Being able to afford to put the heating on
  9. Worrying about feeding the family over Christmas
  10. Being able to afford to put the Christmas lights on

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