COVID-19 Q&A: Smoking
Smoking or vaping is considered an underlying condition that heightens your risk for complications from COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
At University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus we are committed to helping you manage your health in this crisis and beyond
Does smoking put me more at risk to contract coronavirus?
People who smoke and vape may also be at greater risk of contracting the disease because the act of smoking means you are touching your face more.
One virus prevention technique experts recommend is to avoid touching your face because the virus can enter the body when it is transferred from your hands to the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth.
The World Health Organization warns that smoking products such as water pipes may involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could spread COVID-19 in communal and social settings.
Smoking also increases the proteins responsible for coronavirus entry into cells leading to worsening inflammation (swelling) in the lungs and various other organ. These complications can lead to needing an ICU admission and potential death.
What resources are available to help me quit smoking?
While it may be more important than ever to quit smoking or vaping now, the stress of a pandemic does not help. Managing your stress and self-care will need to be an important part of your effort to quit.
While some people are successful quitting cold turkey or gradually reducing the number of cigarettes they smoke, others may need some outside help.
Due to social distancing, in person counseling and support groups have been cancelled. How can I find support?
Support groups have helped many people quit smoking. The Tobacco Health Program at UMMC Midtown Campus offers virtual and in-person appointments in a judgement-free setting. To learn more about its manageable and affordable options, call 410-328-8141.
In addition you can access our Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Julia Melamed at 443-827-3933 for more information about quitting.
Also check with your employer and health insurance company to find a support group that fits your needs. Or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.