COVID-19: advice for smokers and vapers

COVID-19: advice for smokers and vapers

June 1, 2020

Public Health England (PHE) has released advice for smokers and vapers that could be used by healthcare professionals to encourage patients to quit smoking in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Based on mixed and developing evidence, PHE released the advice which could be used as part of Very Brief Advice (VBA) approaches to support patients. PHE advises that:

  • Smoking increases your risk of contracting respiratory infections and of suffering from more severe infections once infected;
  • Stopping smoking will bring immediate health benefits, including if you have existing smoking-related disease. This action benefits both the patient and can take pressure off the NHS especially in the current pandemic;
  • The current effects of vaping on susceptibility to severe disease if a patient contracts COVID-19 are unknown; and
  • For most people vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking.

The guidance goes on to draw attention to the impact of second-hand smoke on the heart and lung health of those exposed, especially children who have less well-developed airways, lungs, and immune systems.

PHE further highlights the increased and repetitive hand-to-face movement that smoking and vaping drives and consequently the increased risk these activities have to introduce viruses into the body.

Read the guidance here.


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