COVID-19 and Tobacco

What is

COVID-19?

In December 2019, a new coronavirus strain was reported by Chinese researchers in connection with a pneumonia-like illness in Wuhan, China.  On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the global spread of this new virus, coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19”), to be a pandemic. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.

COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness, including illness resulting in death.  Transmission of COVID-19 is mainly by exposure to respiratory droplets.  Symptoms include, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and may progress to pneumonia and respiratory failure.  Older people and people of all ages with underlying severe chronic medical conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

Smoking and vaping have been shown to negatively affect the lungs and the immune system, which strongly suggests that using these products increases the risk of infection and worse outcomes from COVID-19.  To help reduce the risk of becoming infected or having complications from COVID-19, individuals should consider quitting smoking and vaping.

The Relationship between COVID-19 & Tobacco

While COVID-19 is a new disease we are still learning more about, researchers have discovered that it can affect the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), with severe cases requiring oxygenation as part of treatment!  We also know tobacco use affects ALL parts of the human body – especially the lungs!  People who smoke and vape are at a greater risk for a myriad of chronic health conditions and are more susceptible to respiratory diseases.

Experts are warning, based on current research, people with compromised health, due to smoking or vaping and people with opioid, methamphetamine, cannabis, and other substance use disorders (SUD) could find themselves at increased risk of COVID-19 and its more serious complications.  Additionally, individuals with behavioral health conditions may be at a greater risk as fear, anxiety, and social isolation may cause increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances as a way of coping with stress associated with the pandemic.

It’s still just as important, as ever before,

to keep tobacco cessation a priority.

News Articles

With new information unfolding daily, we’ve gathered the below collection of resources, news articles, and journal articles related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implication for people who use tobacco, including e-cigarettes or vape products.

Now is the time...

With the global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019, now is the best time to quit tobacco use in order to keep your body resilient against disease! There are FREE resources available that Hoosiers can use in the comfort of their own home, including the Indiana Tobacco Quitline. Individuals who are ready to quit tobacco can call 1-800-Quit-Now for free phone counseling, or by visiting www.QuitNowIndiana.com for more information.

For free help to quit vaping, text ‘Indiana’ to 88709 to enroll in the This Is Quitting text messaging program.

Resources

COVID-19 & Your Mental Health
COVID-19 & Your Mental Health
Best Practices for Telehealth during COVID-19
Best Practices for Telehealth during COVID-19
Analysis of factors associated w/ disease outcomes in hospitalized patients w/ 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease
Analysis of factors associated w/ disease outcomes in hospitalized patients w/ 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease
COVID-19 and Smoking: A systematic review of the evidence
COVID-19 and Smoking: A systematic review of the evidence
World Health Organization Infographic - Smoking 1
World Health Organization Infographic - Smoking 1
World Health Organization Infographic - Smoking 2
World Health Organization Infographic - Smoking 2
Sex difference and smoking predisposition in patients with COVID-19
Sex difference and smoking predisposition in patients with COVID-19
Susceptibility Analysis of COVID-19 in Smokers Based on ACE2
Susceptibility Analysis of COVID-19 in Smokers Based on ACE2
Stop the Spread of Rumors: Facts About COVID-19
Stop the Spread of Rumors: Facts About COVID-19
Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event
Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event
Geographic Differences in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Incidence — U.S, February 12–April 7, 2020
Geographic Differences in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Incidence — U.S, February 12–April 7, 2020
COVID-19, Tobacco Use & Behavioral Health - NBHN Factsheet
COVID-19, Tobacco Use & Behavioral Health - NBHN Factsheet
Tobacco & COVID-19 - CTSI & IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center Infographic
Tobacco & COVID-19 - CTSI & IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center Infographic
Smoking and COVID-19 - TPC Factsheet
Smoking and COVID-19 - TPC Factsheet
Smoking & Viral Respiratory Infections - TPC Factsheet
Smoking & Viral Respiratory Infections - TPC Factsheet
COVID-19 & Tobacco Use Facts - ITQL
COVID-19 & Tobacco Use Facts - ITQL
THIS IS QUITTING - Program Flyer
THIS IS QUITTING - Program Flyer
1-800-QUIT-NOW & COVID-19
1-800-QUIT-NOW & COVID-19
COVID-19 & Tobacco Use - ITQL
COVID-19 & Tobacco Use - ITQL
Rosie the Riveter w/ FaceMask - NRT Promotion
Rosie the Riveter w/ FaceMask - NRT Promotion
Smoking is Associated with COVID-19 Progression: A Meta-Analysis - UCSF
Smoking is Associated with COVID-19 Progression: A Meta-Analysis - UCSF
RTI Factsheet - COVID-19 & Tobacco Use
RTI Factsheet - COVID-19 & Tobacco Use