If you smoke, you are not only putting yourself at greater risk of developing severe disease from the COVID-19 virus, but those around you exposed to second hand smoke, including children, are also put at increased risk.
Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs and airways – causing a range of severe respiratory problems. The evidence clearly shows COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk. A small but highly impactful survey from China finds that smokers with COVID-19 are 14 times more likely to develop severe disease.
In addition, the repetitive hand to mouth movement provides an easy route of entry for the virus, putting smokers at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
Ashley Gould, Consultant in Public Health and Lead for Tobacco Control at Public Health Wales, said:
“In light of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to stop smoking. Not only for your own health but to protect those around you. It will also help alleviate the huge pressures on the NHS.
“It is never too late to quit, no matter your age.”
“To help reduce your risk of contracting the virus and developing severe disease from coronavirus, you can get NHS expert stop smoking advice and support over the phone, plus free medication, from Help Me Quit. Search ‘Help Me Quit’ or call 0800 085 2219.”
Once smokefree, there are very real health benefits with the body continuing to repair the longer you stay smokefree. The more immediate benefits include: