It Started With A Cough

Respiratory infections are headline news these days, with the new disease COVID-19, caused by a coronavirus, taking centre stage. A cough is the most common symptom associated with it.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses which get their name because they look like they’re wearing crowns (divas, I know!), and settle in people’s airways, where they multiply and cause infection. The most common symptoms are fever (high temperature), tiredness and a dry cough. Some people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild, but in some cases can cause severe illness1 which will need to be treated with medical assistance.

Not everyone develops severe illness, but those who are elderly or have a long term health condition have an increased risk of doing so. It’s important to know what can we do to lower our risk of getting the disease. First and foremost, following the Public Health advice is imperative to protect yourself and your loved ones. This includes washing our hands diligently and practising social distancing2.

Wash your hands

How does my lifestyle impact coronavirus?

It is also equally important to understand what aspects of our lifestyles will increase our risk of infectious diseases. Cigarette smoking has been known to change lung structure and function, and also affect how well our immune system works3. As a result, people who smoke are at a higher risk of getting lung infections4. In a time where the coronavirus poses an increased risk to our health, being smoke-free could lower your risk of infection5.

Being smoke free also brings a range of other health benefits, from improving circulation to helping you breathe better. Research also shows that those who quit smoking report being happier than people who were still smoking6. What’s more, you can notice many of the benefits of being smoke free in the first 8 hours, as shown in the animation below.

Why quit smoking?

You are three times more likely to quit smoking when you have the support of a Stop Smoking Advisor and access to medication. 

One You Surrey is continuing to support you to kick the habit. You will receive at least 6 one-to-one behavioural sessions along with the most appropriate medication for you. For more information on what your first appointment would look like

What benefit are you looking forward to experiencing? Maybe it’s getting rid of that cough? Or being able to breathe easier?

Get started with us today by clicking the button below


  1. World Health Organisation. Q&A on coronavirus (COVID019). 2020.
  2. Arcavi, L. and Benowitz, N., 2004. Cigarette Smoking and Infection. Archives of Internal Medicine, 164(20), p.2206.
  3. 2020. Coronavirus (COVID-19). [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 23 March 2020].
  4. Royal College of Physicians, 2018. Treating Tobacco Dependency In The NHS. Hiding in plain sight. London: The Lavenham Press.
  5. BBC News. 2020. Coronavirus: Advice For People With Health Conditions. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 March 2020].
  6. Shahab, L. and West, R. (2012). Differences in happiness between smokers, ex-smokers and never smokers: cross-sectional findings from a national household survey. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 121(1-2), pp.38-44