As we all strive to stay healthy during this coronavirus pandemic, Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center (GSAHEC) wanted to share this important update from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids® regarding how smoking and vaping leaves one susceptible to this serious respiratory disease.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) attacks the lungs, and behaviors that weaken the lungs put individuals at greater risk.
The harmful impact of smoking on the lungs is well-documented. There is conclusive evidence that smoking increases the risk for respiratory infections, weakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence that vaping can also harm lung health.
These factors put smokers, and in all likelihood vapers, at greater risk when confronted with the coronavirus.
There has never been a better time for smokers to quit and for individuals to protect their health by avoiding use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
For more information, please see this recent blog post by Dr. Nora Volkow , director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It includes the following:
“Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape.”
“It is therefore reasonable to be concerned that compromised lung function or lung disease related to smoking history, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), could put people at risk for serious complications of COVID -19.”
“Vaping, like smoking, may also harm lung health. Whether it can lead to COPD is still unknown, but emerging evidence suggests that exposure to aerosols from e-cigarettes harms the cells of the lung and diminishes the ability to respond to infection.” 1
Gulfcoast South AHEC (GSAHEC) can help you quit!
In fact, GSAHEC is now offering free group quit classes virtually! Participants in this program receive free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, participant workbook, and cessation materials. Call 866-534-7909 to register today (registration is required)!
In addition to these virtual classes, GSAHEC is also offering free individual tobacco cessation classes! Participants receive free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, workbook and materials, and individual cessation classes over the phone (two sessions, one hour each) with a trained Tobacco Cessation Specialist to discuss the dangers of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and the tools to increase your chances of being successful. Call 866-534-7909 to schedule your session today!
Gulfcoast South AHEC (GSAHEC)
1 Covid-19: Never Has It Been More Important For Smokers To Quit and For Individuals To Avoid Damaging Their Lungs By Vaping