ABERDEEN, S.D.(Aberdeen American News)- South Dakotans bought far more alcohol and tobacco than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some healthcare professionals are concerned that residents who consumed more of the unhealthy products could suffer long-term physical and mental health consequences.
Health experts say the pandemic brought on social isolation, job loss, grief and ongoing anxiety about the future, all factors that likely contributed to heightened use of alcohol and tobacco.
In South Dakota, gross sales in liquor stores increased by about 21% from 2019 to 2020, from roughly $96 million in 2019 to about $117 million in 2020, according to state Department of Revenue data. The rise in alcohol sales during the pandemic came after alcohol tax collections had fallen by 9% in the year prior to the arrival of COVID-19.
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