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Smoking and vaping harm the lungs — greater risk for severe COVID-19 illness if infected

E-cigarettes pose a double threat to America’s kids. Not only are flavored e-cigarettes addicting children to nicotine, health experts now warn smoking and vaping can worsen COVID-19. We know that smoking and vaping are associated with an inflammatory process in the lining of the lungs, the very place that COVID-19 causes its most serious damage.

COVID-19 and smoking or vaping may be a deadly combination. With the coronavirus pandemic occurring at a time of record-high youth vaping in the United States, many, including the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, have raised concerns about whether e-cigarette use could make young people more susceptible to the virus. While it is too soon to know the specific impacts of the virus on people who use e-cigarettes, there is growing evidence that vaping can harm lung and heart health overall.

Research shows that smoking is most likely associated with people getting sicker from COVID- 19. Smoking also weakens your immune system and your body’s ability to fight infections. A published study from Wuhan showed that, compared to nonsmokers, smokers with COVID-19 were twice as likely to have more serious symptoms, including being admitted to the intensive care unit, needing mechanical ventilation, or dying.

There is growing evidence that the aerosol from vaping can harm lungs at the cellular and organ levels and worsen the body’s ability to fight respiratory infections. Human lungs are very delicate organs. When you smoke or vape, you are inhaling a number of chemicals and particulates into your lungs. Smoking, vaping and COVID-19 all harm the lungs.

There is help available for those who want to quit. The California Smokers’ Helpline has been helping people quit smoking for more than 25 years. The Helpline’s caring counselors are ready to help develop a personalized quit plan that’s right for you. There’s lots of way to connect – visit www.nobutt.org, call 1-800-NO-BUTTS or http://www.novapes.org or 1-844-8-NO-VAPE.

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