Published: 24 September 2020
People who quit smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to quit for good.
There has never been a more important time to quit smoking. Research shows that smoking is a risk factor for all types of acute respiratory infections like flu and coronavirus. Just like flu, a coronavirus infection may be more severe in people who smoke.
The good news is that quitting smoking helps build up your natural resistance to all types of infections including coronavirus. When you stop, the natural hairs in your airways (cilia) begin to work again. 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.
So in addition to doing all the things we know protect us from coronavirus- washing our hands properly, covering coughs and sneezes, practicing social distancing and not touching our faces, stopping smoking can also help protect you from COVID-19.
The HSE helps people to stop smoking throughout the year. On an average day, the service supports 1,500 to stop smoking. Demand for online help to quit has increased this year throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
October is Quit Month and the HSE’s Quit Service is on-hand to give lots of practical personalised support to help you stop smoking for good.
There are many different ways to get help to quit including:
- A free Quit Kit to help you prepare
- Messages or phone calls the Freephone Quitline- phone 1800 201 203
- Live chat with a Stop Smoking Advisor on Quit.ie
- Weekly phone support for the first 6 weeks from a Stop Smoking Advisor in your area
- Advice on Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and stop smoking medication
- An online-personalised Quit plan where you can track your progress
- Daily tips and support from people who have quit and who are trying to quit on the You Can Quit Facebook page