The Surprising Truth about Dealing with Smoking and COVID-19

COVID-19 is still making people stressed, worried, and alone when quitting smoking.

You are not alone, and trying to stop smoking remaining smoke-free is not easy at this time. However, not using any form of tobacco products is the best to keep yourself protected and improve your health. While scientists are learning about the disease and smoking, there are some things we know that can help.

Smoking and COVID-19

Your risk of getting COVID-19 is more severe. Smoking weakens your immune system making it harder for the body to fight the virus. Furthermore, if you continue to smoke, the risk of getting respiratory infections such as flu, cold, or pneumonia is higher.

Moreover, it affects your body’s organs when you smoke from the heart to lung diseases and at risk of the COVID-19. The good news is that when you stop smoking, the body starts to heal. Within months, the lungs start working better, and the risk of heart failure goes down.

The longer you quit, the more time the body has to heal, no matter how old you are. Quitting smoking helps improve your health and adds more years to your life.

Resources to Quit Smoking

The good news is you can find many free resources to help you quit. Start a plan of action with some of these tools.

  • Create your personalized quit plan to guide you along the way.
  • Sign up for a SmokefreeTXT to receive daily tips, support, and strategies.
  • Alternatively, you can send a text message with the word Quit to 47848.
  • Download a Smokefree app to help you learn how to quit helping manage your cravings and track your smokefree journey. Google Play or Apple Store
  • Stay connected with a social support smoke-free network or talk to a quit coach calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW to connect to a state quit line.
  • Chat for support with a quit smoking counselor like the National Cancer Institute’s LiveHelp

Most importantly, if you are pregnant, the risk of getting COVID-19 is higher and more severe. Protect yourself during this time and talk to your doctor to assist you with quitting medication to help.

Now Is a Good Time to Quit

To quit smoking is no better time than now. Maybe you are smoking and want to commit to quit smoking. While not easy for many people, there are things you can do. You can do the following to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn about the withdrawal triggers from irritability, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, and increased appetite. Some of the symptoms related to COVID-19, such as feeling like you have a cold or flu, can result from quitting, but if you are not sure best talk to your doctor.

Consider using an FDA-approved quit smoking medication you can find prescribed or over the counter to help. Try to manage your stress to prevent slipping back into the routine of smoking. If you do fall, do not be hard on yourself.

Keep an eye on signs of depression, as coping with the new lifestyle is difficult, making one feel sad. Some smokers get depressed after stopping, and if you think you cannot manage, contact the 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE line.

Never give up if you did slip and set a new quit date to try it. Lastly, make sure to learn more about secondhand smoke to make your home smokefree to keep your family safe if you are still smoking. When you focus on the essential things, you can control your life even during this pandemic time.

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