Smoking and COVID-19

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Many questions have been asked about smoking, and how this can affect people infected with COVID-19.
As a reminder, we have compiled many different resources to help you get through this time. Learn more on our COVID-19 Resources Page by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Smoking, Vaping, and Marijuana relating to COVID-19
“Are smokers and tobacco users at higher risk of COVID-19 infection?”
  • Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.
  • Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings.
  • Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia. Learn more here.
  • As confirmed COVID-19 cases increase, experts emphasize the importance of quitting smoking or vaping…But those with underlying health concerns — including respiratory problems related to smoking or vaping — may be at higher risk for severe symptoms. Learn more here.
  • Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 can probably expect a more severe infection, health experts warn….But doctors also caution that users of electronic cigarettes and tobacco are more in danger from the new coronavirus than the average healthy person. If you vape, “you’re going to make lungs more vulnerable to severe infection,” said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, an American Lung Association spokesman who is also director of the tobacco treatment clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore. Learn more here.
  • “Smoking marijuana, even occasionally, can increase your risk for more severe complications from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. What happens to your airways when you smoke cannabis is that it causes some degree of inflammation, very similar to bronchitis, very similar to the type of inflammation that cigarette smoking can cause,’ said pulmonologist Dr. Albert Rizzo, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. ‘Now you have some airway inflammation and you get an infection on top of it. So, yes, your chance of getting more complications is there.'” Learn more here.

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