According to American Lung Association’s Chief Medical Officer Albert Rizzo, M.D., an important step to immediately improve your health and possibly avoid the most serious symptoms of this scary disease is to consider quitting smoking and vaping.
What do we know about COVID-19, smoking, and vaping?
- Being a current or former cigarette smoker increases the risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Smoking and vaping causes harm to the lungs leaving lung tissue inflamed, fragile and susceptible to infection, like COVID-19.
- Smoking and vaping causes damage to airway lining cells that contain cilia, which are our defenders against COVID-19.
- See American Lung Association “COVID-19 and Tobacco” factsheet here.
- Recent study from Stanford University of Medicine identified youth who vape as five times more likely to contract COVID-19.
Now is the perfect opportunity to quit.
- 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. And hey – you’ve got more time on your hands to play interior decorator!
- 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.
“We have long known that quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health. And it’s especially important now,” Dr. Rizzo said. “Quitting smoking and vaping can better equip your body to fight off this disease and reduce the chance of the most severe symptoms.
Albert A. Rizzo, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association, is the organization’s senior medical authority. Dr. Rizzo has long been a key medical advisor to the American Lung Association, a member of the Lung Cancer Expert Medical Advisory Panel and a leading media spokesperson for the Association. Read More.
See the American Lung Association webpage on COVID-19 for more information.