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COVID-19 & Tobacco Prevention

The Harms of Tobacco Use

Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year and 40,000 adults in CA annually. Tobacco smoking is also a known risk factor for respiratory infections and is known to increase the severity of respiratory diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on April 29, 2020 that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers.2

COVID-19 & Tobacco Use

COVID-19 primarily impacts the lungs, and with smoking impairing lung function it makes it harder for the body to fight off not only coronaviruses but also other diseases. The use of tobacco is a major risk factor for diseases like cancer, asthma and diabetes, which put people at a higher risk for developing a more severe illness if affected by COVID-19. The WHO also states that available research suggests that people who smoke are at a much higher risk of developing severe disease and death compared to those who do not smoke.

Benefits of Quitting Tobacco Use

Quitting smoking has almost immediate health benefits that only increase as time goes on. For instance, within minutes of quitting, one’s heart rate drops. Within 24 hours the nicotine level in the blood drops to zero and within several days the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to a level of someone who does not smoke. Also, within 1 to 12 month the coughing and shortness of breath decreases.

Now is as good of time as any to quitting smoking. For more information about how to quit you call: 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit