Covid-19 and Smoking

Am I at greater risk from Covid-19 if I smoke and how?

Yes, Coronavirus attacks the lungs and respiratory system. If you smoke, you are more vulnerable to serious infection with coronavirus because the lungs are already weakened.

We have small brush like hairs in the airways called Cilia which move mucous, inhaled debris and potentially infectious agents out of the airways and lungs. The chemicals from cigarettes have two serious effects on these cilia. Firstly, they reduce the cilia movement, meaning it is harder to move mucous out of the lungs and secondly, over time, prolonged inhaled smoke kills these cilia, drastically increasing the risk of infection.

On top of this, smoking suppresses the immune system and weakens your body’s natural defences to fight infections like Coronavirus.

Will my smoking affect others, does passive smoking increase the risk?

Yes. Every cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals. People who breath in second-hand smoke on a regular basis are more likely to get the same diseases as smokers, meaning they are also at risk from corona. Children who live in a smoky house are at a higher risk of breathing problems and asthma which are both in the high-risk category for corona. 

Is there anything that can help myself and those around me?

Giving up smoking can help!

Lung defences can start to heal within days of giving up smoking. Research in the journal Nature shows that lungs have a “magical” ability to repair some of the damage caused by smoking if you stop smoking completely.

According to Science Media Centre, stopping smoking, even for 24 hours, is seen to have a huge improvement on the function of the remaining cilia. The longer you stop smoking the greater your recovery.

It is worth quitting.

How can I quit?

If you’re concerned about smoking and being at greater risk, then this is your moment to quit, call us now on 0333 005 0095 or take the online assessment.

We offer 12 weeks of one-to-one support or group support with a specialist trained practitioner to help you quit smoking. We are now providing our stop smoking services via telephone or digitally.

This is the third time I've tried to give up smoking, and as I draw towards the end of this one, I feel confident that this will be the one that does it! Probably the most important aspect has been the relationship of trust and encouragement that has been fostered by my Stop Smoking Practitioner. The physiological aspect of the addiction should not be underestimated. I have found Nicotine patches to be an extremely effective substitute for tobacco. I recommend the Waltham Forest Stop Smoking service.
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