COVID-19 and Smoking
If you’re a smoker and worried about COVID-19 then now would be a good time to think about quitting for good.
Research into previous coronaviruses show that smoking makes the impact of the virus worse. Smokers are more likely to develop severe disease from the COVID-19 virus, than non-smokers.
In addition, the act of smoking means hands are in contact with the mouth increasing the likelihood of transmission of the virus.
Some media are also reporting that vapers face additional risks from coronavirus however the evidence for this is far less clear. Smokers who have switched to vaping should be reassured that this is better for them than smoking regular cigarettes.
Follow these three steps to #QuitForCovid
1. Get expert advice from NHS or your local pharmacy
People in Wales who need help to stop smoking can still access support from the NHS during the lock-down. This includes telephone support and free stop smoking medication.
Call NHS Wales Help Me Quit on 0800 085 2219 or visit the website helpmequit.wales
Or you can call your local pharmacy to confirm if the service is currently available. Find your local pharmacy here.
2. Get stop smoking medication from your local supermarket/online
A wide range of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is sold in supermarkets. We are advised to leave the house only for essential shopping and medication, this would include NRT to help you stop smoking e.g. patches, gum, lozenges. Read our guide on using NRT to quit smoking.
3. Join an online support group
There are online forums for people to support each other whilst quitting smoking, such as Quit Smoking (Wales) on Facebook.
Second-hand smoke – do not smoke in your home
Exposure to second-hand smoke is also likely to exacerbate the risks from coronavirus, alongside the other harms it causes. ASH Wales urges people not to smoke in the home, especially if they share their home with children. Smokers who are self-isolating and are not able to go outside to smoke should seek alternatives such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or e-cigarettes to protect the people around them from harm.