Smoking Can Increase Danger of COVID-19 Complications


By WVUA 23 News Reporter Kayla Smith

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn smokers face a higher risk of suffering life-threatening COVID-19 complications.

Smoking weakens your immune system and increases your risk of respiratory infections.

UAB Department of Pediatrics Professor Dr. Susan Walley said smoking puts people at a higher risk of being admitted to intensive care units, placed on ventilators, and dying from COVID-related conditions.

Smoking e-cigarettes and vapes, popular among young adults, a group normally considered to be low risk, can also lead to complications.

“We know that vaping is not safe, and it can damage the lungs as well,” Walley said. “A recent study by researchers at Stanford shows that children and young adults, ages 13 to 24, that vape are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19.”

Walley said she is also concerned about the impact of secondhand smoke.

“Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at much higher risk for many diseases including asthma, more severe asthmas attacks, pneumonia, and respiratory infections,” Walley said. “It stands to reason that being exposed to secondhand smoke also could potentially make you at higher risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms.”

Walley said it is never too late to quit smoking.

“When you quit, your body starts healing, so it is really important to quit no matter where you are.”

Because of increased risk, Walley recommends smokers get vaccinated as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know wants to quit smoking, you can call 1-800 QUIT NOW.

Categories: COVID-19, Local News