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Alcohol sales rose during early pandemic phase

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New York, March 2 : In a finding that shows that the pandemic may also have harmful indirect consequences, a new study has found that alcohol and tobacco sales in the US rose during the early months of Covid-19.
From April-June 2020, sales of these substances increased 34 per cent and 13 per cent respectively when compared to the same months in 2019, said the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
“These are significant jumps, and show that the stress, boredom and loneliness caused by the pandemic may have led to increased alcohol and tobacco use,” said lead author of the study Brian Lee from Keck Medicine and the University of Southern California Institute for Addiction Science in the US.
Tobacco and alcohol abuse are the second and ninth largest contributors to global deaths, causing some eight million deaths each year worldwide.
Lee and his colleagues decided to study alcohol and tobacco purchasing patterns after noticing that in 2020, Keck Hospital of USC admissions for alcohol-associated liver disease (cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis) were up approximately 30 per cent compared to the year before.
Some patients also admitted to using alcohol to handle pandemic-related stress.

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