COVID-19 and Smoking: Why It’s Never Been More Important to Stop Smoking

As you’ll no doubt be aware, the spread of COVID-19 sees us in the middle of a global pandemic.
Everybody is working together to tackle the biggest threat to public health in recent memory.  
It’s worth considering what your personal risk is as someone who smokes too. (That’s why we’re here to help you stop smoking!)

What exactly is COVID-19? 

COVID-19 is a highly infectious type of newly discovered coronavirus. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and a dry cough. However, some people who are infected do not display any symptoms. 

It can cause respiratory problems, especially in those deemed to be at higher risk. This includes those who are 70 or over, are pregnant, or who have lung conditions.

Is COPD irreversible? If I stop smoking will it help my condition?

What is the risk for smokers? 

Studies from China state that people who smoke face a greater risk of severe respiratory disease from COVID-19.

We know that COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system. This leads to problems that can range in seriousness. Ranging from shortness of breath to difficulty breathing and requiring a ventilator to breathe. 


Cigarette smoke also attacks the respiratory system, damaging cells in the lungs and obstructing airflow. This puts you at an increased risk of developing respiratory infections and other lung diseases (see video below from Dr. Nick Hopkinson)

Smokers are more likely to have reduced lung capacity due to smoking’s effect on the respiratory system. Therefore, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that people who smoke are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19.

An easy way for the virus to spread is touching the mouth or any orifice. Therefore, the repetitive hand-to-mouth action of smoking increases risk.

Not only do smokers put themselves at higher risk. They put those around them who are exposed to second-hand smoke are also at an increased risk. It is vital that people commit to a smokefree home, particularly during these times when we are isolating. Help protect those around you.

How can I reduce my risk? 

Put simply, you can help to reduce your risk if you stop smoking. We understand that with everything going on, now might not be the best time. But if you think about it… it could be the perfect time


Professor John Newton, says: there has never been a more important time to stop smoking.

“In light of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to stop smoking. Not only for your own health but to protect those around you. It will also help alleviate the huge pressures on the NHS.”  


Your body will start to heal and repair the longer you stop smoking. Your lungs eliminating carbon monoxide and starting to clear out mucus and other smoking debris after just 48 hours.

You can even see results in just 20 minutes after you stop smoking.

Quitting smoking during isolation is too hard. Where can I get support? 

Your best chances are with a stop smoking service. With our help you are 3 times more likely to successfully quit. Better yet, it’s free to use. Meaning every penny saved, is a penny in your pocket.

In line with government advice, face-to-face support is currently not available.

One You Surrey is still open and available to provide support for stopping smoking in a number of ways, both online and over the phone.  

See below how we are continuing to support Surrey residents

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