MEDIA ADVISORY: COVID-19: Worse for Smokers, E-cigarette Users

Smokers, vapers at higher risk for severe illness if they contract coronavirus

Smokers that are diagnosed with the coronavirus could expect a more severe infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to washing your hands thoroughly, staying home and maintaining social distancing, the American Lung Association urges smokers to quit which will immediately improve overall health and will help avoid the most serious symptoms of the new disease.

Recent evidence shows that smokers are more susceptible to severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19. In a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, people who smoke were 2.4 times more likely to have severe symptoms from COVID-19 compared to those who did not smoke.
Tobacco smoke and vape emissions effects our ability to fight viruses and disrupts the immune system causing inflammation in our airways. The presence of this inflammation in the face of an additional insult like an acute disease makes it harder for our lungs to combat the invading virus and sets up the risk for my severe complications of the infection.

For more information about quitting smoking and COVID-19, visit or call the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA).
For those that are hunkered down, this might prove to be the best time to quit smoking.

  • 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.
  • 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. 
For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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