Smoking makes you more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection, it affects your lungs and airways.
The science is showing that if you smoke you may be more susceptible to COVID-19 and that if you do get it, you are less equipped to deal with it.
By smoking, your fingers are in contact with your lips. This increases the chance of passing the virus from your hand to your mouth.
There is evidence that if you’re a smoker, you are more likely to develop a severe case of the virus. Smoking damages your lungs and weakens your immune system. This makes it more likely that you will have complications if you get sick and that it will take you longer to recover.
Smoking of any kind, not just cigarettes, but shisha, cannabis or any other substances will also increase your risks.
It’s not only smoking – breathing in second hand smoke at home and in other enclosed spaces may also increase your health risks. Children and those with existing health conditions are particularly at risk and smokers should take every effort to protect them from exposure.
It’s not just about COVID-19. Smokers are also much more likely to get other health problems, at a time when the NHS is under strain from dealing with COVID-19.
If you smoke, the best thing you can do is to quit, to protect yourself and others, and reduce the impact on NHS services.
Why quit smoking now?
This is one of the most important actions you can take in relation to the current pandemic if you smoke.
What help is available?
Smokers are at an increased risk of COVID-19. If you smoke, now has never been a better time to quit. Our stop smoking services continue to offer FREE information, advice and support to help you stop smoking. To find out about the stop smoking services and support in your area call the Quit Your Way service on 0800 916 8858 or visit QuitYourWay.scot.
Whilst we can’t provide face to face support just now but we are offering phone based support which can be just as effective. We will also help you access free NRT or varenicline from your local pharmacy to help you with your quit attempt.
In hospital – if you are in hospital you can still access help to stop smoking through our Quit Your Way hospital, pregnancy or mental health service. Just ask a member of staff for information or to refer you for support.
Additional support – is available through Quityourway.scot or by contacting the national Quit Your Way helpline on 0800 84 84 84 (9am – 5pm)
Vaping - If you are quitting using an e-cigarette, equipment and liquids are still available in supermarkets. Although vaping is likely to be less harmful than cigarette smoke, it still involves a hand to mouth action, and is therefore less helpful in reducing Covid-19 risk than products like NRT patches and gum (nicotine nasal sprays and inhalators may have a similar issue).
If you don’t want to stop smoking right now, there are things you can do to protect yourself and others: