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Tobacco and your health during COVID-19

During this challenging time, your health and wellbeing is more important than ever.

As a healthcare worker, you may be under considerable stress helping our country respond to this national emergency.

If you smoke it might not naturally feel like the right time to quit. But quitting now helps to reduce your risk of contracting the virus and recovering from it if you do catch it.

People who smoke are more likely to get respiratory infections and to have a more severe infection than people who don’t smoke.

Quitting smoking​ helps build your natural resistance to all types of infections including coronavirus. When you stop, the natural hairs in your airways (cilia) begin to work again. They sweep away viruses and bacteria within your airways, helping to prevent them from reaching your lung tissue.

Within 1 to 2 days the oxygen levels in your body will improve. Your blood pressure and pulse reduces, which in turn decreases the overall stress on your body. All these things are good defences against coronavirus.

Sign up to the Quit plan or Freephone 1800 201 203 for free help to stop smoking.

Contact the Quit team to stop smoking

Sign up to the Quit plan

Freephone 1800 201 203 and access non-judgemental professional help and advice on medication, managing stress, avoiding smoking triggers and coping with withdrawal symptoms. You can avail of weekly phone calls for your first 6 weeks and support for up to a year.

Free text QUIT to 50100

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As well as thinking about quitting yourself we would encourage you to continue to refer patients who smoke to our stop smoking services.

Although the face-to-face clinics have stopped, for now, our stop smoking advisors are offering the same service but over the phone. Our online and text supports are also all available as normal.

See: How smoking increases your risk of coronavirus

Page last reviewed: 15/05/2020
Next review due: 15/05/2023