Study Finds Smoking, Alcohol Drinking Increased amid the Pandemic



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • Illustration of liquor or alcohol / alcoholic drink. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

    Illustration of liquor or alcohol / alcoholic drink. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaA research that was conducted by the University of Indonesia Faculty of Medicine’s department of mental health and Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM) revealed the alcohol consumption and smoking behaviour amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The study found there were no changes for 44.5 percent of respondents who routinely consume alcoholic drinks throughout the pandemic. The same can be said for 47.6 percent of respondents who are active smokers.

    However, crucially, there was a rise in alcohol consumption among people who had never been exposed to alcoholic beverages with 25.7 percent respondents saying they started to drink while there was a 20.1 percent increase among new smokers. 

    University of Indonesia (UI) medical faculty Dean Ari Fahrial Syam said the aforementioned behavioral changes are alarming and must anticipate an increase of psychological pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    The study involved 4,584 respondents and was published at the internasional Frontiers in Psychiatry journal on February 2, 2021. The questionnaire for the study was spread from April 28, 2020 - June 1, 2020 across multiple social media platforms and other means of distribution. 

    Researchers from UI mental health department and RSCM were Enjeline Hanafi, Kristiana Siste, Albert Prabowo Limawan, Lee Thung Sen, Hans Christian, Belinda Julivia Murtani, Adrian, Levina Putri Siswidiani, and researcher from Faculty of Psychology, Atma Jaya Catholic University, Christiany Suwartono.

    However, in areas where a stricter social restriction (PSBB) were enacted, the consumption of alcohol and smoking had dropped and coincided with the awareness that the two habits could worsen symptoms of Covid-19. 

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