Latest Developments: Smoking, Vaping, and COVID-19

Research has noted that smoking itself may increase the risk of severe COVID-19 infection, especially because the virus mainly targets the lungs. Smoking is linked to many poor respiratory health outcomes, such as decreased or impaired lung capacity and an increased susceptibility to respiratory infections and diseases (e.g., pneumonia, COPD). Smoking also increases one’s risk of developing other chronic conditions (e.g., heart disease), which leads to an increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection. 

The relationship between vaping and COVID-19 is less understood. However, the World Health Organization has suggested that vaping may be associated with a higher risk of infection due to potential harmful effects that vaping may have on the heart and lungs. 

Smoking and vaping also may increase the risk of a COVID-19 infection simply due to frequent, close, hand-to-mouth contact that occurs when smoking a cigarette or e-cigarette. Sharing smoking products with others also increases your risk of contracting the virus. 

The World Health Organization suggests quitting tobacco use entirely, as quitting will help to improve lung and heart function and potentially decrease the risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.

If you do smoke, remember: 

  • Quitting is recommended to lessen your risk of developing a severe COVID-19 infection
  • Avoid sharing any smoking devices or cigarette products with others
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Smoke outside, away from people, to reduce secondhand smoke exposure for others

For more information about quitting, visit this link.

For more information about smoking and COVID-19, visit this link. 

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