COVID-19 worse for smokers, E-cigarette users

Coronavirus
No smoking sign. (Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

No smoking sign. (Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

DENVER (KDVR) — Coronavirus patients who are also smokers could expect a more severe infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Lung Association urges smokers to quit, which may help avoid the most serious symptoms of the new disease.

People who smoke are 2.4 times more likely to have severe symptoms from COVID-19 compared to those who do not smoke, according to a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Tobacco smoke and vape emissions affect the ability to fight viruses and disrupts the immune system causing inflammation in airways. This makes it harder for lungs to fight a new virus and increases risk for severe complications of the infection.

The American Lung Association’s tips to quit smoking:

  • Identify your smoking triggers. You may be more apt to light up when you’re out with friends or on a long commute to or from the office. Social distancing and working from home could provide the perfect opportunity to lay low for a little while and focus on your quit.  
  • Refresh your space and day. Whether it’s a specific chair on the porch or at the dining room table after a meal, doing a little feng shui with your living space can help you relearn certain rituals to avoid smoking.
  • Stay connected. Our hangouts are going virtual, which is the perfect time to connect with others that are quitting smoking. Join our online support community and join the Quarantine Quitters.  
  • Get proven support.  Join Freedom From Smoking, our quit smoking program that walks you through the step-by-step process of quitting smoking. Through the program, you’ll have access to tobacco cessation counselors who can counsel and support you one-on-one. 

Visit Covid-19 Updates or call the American Lung Association’s Lung Help Line, (800)-LUNGUSA, for more information about how to quit smoking and COVID-19.

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