Chaffee County Public Health

Never has it been more important for smokers to quit and for individuals to avoid damaging their lungs by vaping.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) attacks the lungs, and behaviors that weaken the lungs put individuals at greater risk. The harmful impact of smoking on the lungs is well documented, and there is a growing body of evidence that e-cigarette use (vaping) can also harm lung health.

There is conclusive evidence that smoking increases the risk for respiratory infections, weakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, there is growing evidence that vaping can also harm lung health. These factors put smokers, and in all likelihood vapers as well, at greater risk when confronted with the coronavirus.

There has never been a better time for smokers to quit and for individuals to protect their health by avoiding use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Bev Orrill, Tobacco Treatment Specialist for Chaffee County Public Health states, “If anyone is interested in quitting tobacco, please call me at 530-2572 for help. The Colorado Quitline is another source of help and nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum and/or logenzes) is available for free. Call 1-800-784-8669 or enroll online at coquitline.org.”

“Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape,” blogs Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“It is therefore reasonable to be concerned that compromised lung function or lung disease related to smoking history, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), could put people at risk for serious complications of COVID-19.”

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