Tobacco Use and Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Recent news stories have discussed the potential connection between smoking and COVID-19. The scientific and medical community is learning more about the health implications smoking has on COVID-19, but there are reasons for concern. We do know that COVID-19 patients who smoke might be at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.1
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Smoking can cause a higher risk of getting lung and chest infections in general.2 People who smoke have a higher risk of dying from respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumonia.3 Smoking cigarettes is also a major cause of heart disease and lung disease.4 People of any age with serious underlying health conditions, like heart disease and lung disease, seem to be at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19.5 We also know that smoking suppresses immune function in the lungs and triggers inflammation.6
As such, because of the damage that tobacco products cause to the lungs, it is likely that smoking can worsen outcomes for people who get COVID-19. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “because it attacks the lungs, COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco.”7
The best thing you can do for your health is to quit tobacco. If you need help quitting, Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services, like 24/7 access to speak to a Quit Coach and a 2-week supply of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges shipped to your home. Learn more about all our tools and services at tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.