Post-Pandemic Cannabis and Gambling Policy Changes to Attract Tourists May Lead to Future Health Problems and Costs

After the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, on 11 March 2020, governments worldwide imposed a range of national restrictions and physical distancing measures. This included stay-at-home policies, the closure of national borders and the cancellation of most commercial flights. The restrictions resulted in a global economic crisis that affected revenues and employment in the tourism industry. Before COVID-19, the global tourism market had become an important sector in the world economy, with 1.5 billion travellers in 2019. The pandemic affected the ability as well as the willingness to travel abroad for leisure. Therefore, non-essential travel was curtailed because of fears of becoming ill while abroad, concerns about the quality of local health care and the risk of inadvertently infecting others during transit or upon returning home. With the resolution of the crisis, to lure back travellers, some tourism-dependent countries considered and implemented rapid changes in their cannabis and gambling policies. Although these policy changes reversed the downturn in their tourism, they may also have led to addictive behaviours and other health problems in the short and long term

Hagit Bonny-Noach, PhD, Sharon Horsky, PhD, Post-pandemic cannabis and gambling policy changes to attract tourists may lead to future health problems and costs, Journal of Travel Medicine, 2022;, taac117,
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