COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus Disease 2019, is a disease that comes from a coronavirus—an upper-respiratory illness that can be transmitted from person to person.
It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health, however; the scientific and medical community is just beginning to understand COVID-19 and the health implications of smoking or e-cigarette use. While much is left to be learned about the health complications due to this virus, we do know that being a current or former smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 1
Know the risks:
- Smoking can cause lung disease by damaging your airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in your lungs. 2,3
- Smoking can cause a higher risk of getting lung and chest infections in general.4
- People who smoke have a higher risk of dying from respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumonia.4
- Using e-cigarettes can increase your odds of developing respiratory disease by 95%.5
- Smoking is a major cause of heart disease and lung disease.5 People of any age with severe underlying health conditions, like heart disease and lung disease, might be at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.6
- According to Dr. J. Taylor Hays, director of Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center, the social behavior of smoking and vaping also can increase the risk of spreading the virus, as people who smoke or vape oftentimes do so in groups and are unmasked.7
We are here to help:
If you ever had a reason to quit smoking, here’s another one. The best thing you can do for your health is to stop smoking. If you need help quitting, Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center (GSAHEC), as part of the Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program — offers free tobacco cessation sessions that are available to help someone quit all forms of tobacco. These group cessation sessions, held virtually and in-person, provide information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your own customized quit plan. Free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum or lozenges (if medically appropriate and while supplies last) are provided with the session. Attendees will also receive a participant workbook, quit kit materials, and follow up support from a trained tobacco treatment specialist. Contact us today at 866-534-7909 or visit our page to schedule a class or learn more about the program!
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Certain Medical Conditions and Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness. October 2020. Accessed October 09, 2020
2U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2020 May 5].
3U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2020 May 5].
4 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Printed with corrections, January 2014. Accessed April 3, 2020.
5Association of E-Cigarette Use With Respiratory Disease Among Adults: A Longitudinal Analysis. Bhatta, Dharma N. et al. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 58, Issue 2, 182 – 190. Accessed April 3, 2020.
6Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Mar. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html. Accessed April 3, 2020.
7The connection Between Smoking, COVID-19. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/the-connection-between-smoking-covid-19/