Essential information for people who smoke
COVID-19 is a virus that causes respiratory disease. If you smoke, you are at higher risk of respiratory disease. Now is a good time for you to stop smoking.
How COVID-19 impacts your health if you smoke
Smoking damages the lungs so they don’t work as well. If you smoke, it is possible that you will experience greater ill-health and may be at higher risk of complications or a severe case of COVID-19 if you do become infected.
Reasons to stop smoking
Smoking can contribute to spreading the virus
If you smoke, it is likely that your fingers will touch your lips more often. This can put you at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Stopping smoking will improve your hand-to-mouth hygiene and reduce the spread of the virus.
Smoking impacts the health of others
If you smoke and are in quarantine at home with your family, their risk of exposure to second-hand smoke will increase. Stopping smoking will remove this risk. This is good for their health too.
Smoking impacts access to healthcare
Health services will be limited as COVID-19 spreads. Stopping smoking means you will be healthier and in time, less at risk of smoking-related health problems. This will leave health services more able to focus on people who are sick from COVID-19.
Smoking is expensive
Stopping smoking will save you and your family money.
Smoking and stress
Like many other people who smoke, you may believe that smoking relieves your stress. However, smoking only relieves the stress of nicotine withdrawal. It does not relieve any other stress, in fact it increases it.
If you stop smoking, after some initial withdrawal symptoms (which can be reduced with medications and nicotine replacement therapies) you will feel less stressed over time.
What you can do now to improve your health
Stopping smoking will improve your lung function within a few months. This will reduce the likelihood of severe lung complications if you do get COVID-19. Stopping smoking has many benefits beyond any link with COVID-19. Now is a good time for you to stop smoking.