Vaping and smoking increases risk of catching COVID-19

Published: May. 2, 2020 at 6:15 PM CDT
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Since parents are at home with their kids more, Tobacco Free Hall County encourages parents to talk to their kids about why smoking and vaping is dangerous.

Michaela Perry, Tobacco Free Hall County Coordinator said, "Now is a great time for parents to talk to them at home and let them know the dangers. Maybe do some research online, look at campaign for Tobacco Free Kids or the Truth Initiative."

Since lifetime smokers start before the age of 18. Not only does vaping and smoking cause damage to people's lungs and stunt brain development, smokers are more likely to catch COVID-19.

Nicotine products like vape juice, cigarettes and even marijuana weakens the immune system. So if you have the virus, it makes it even harder to recover from it.

"We know that it is attacking the lungs of people, obviously smoking and vaping is going to increase those risks and make it harder for people to recover from COVID-19," said Perry.

Tobacco Free Hall County knows stress levels are high. Kids are stuck at home. They're out of school and away from friends. So they smoke to get relief but it only makes it worse.

"It may make it feel better a little bit. It actually heightens that for later on," said Perry. "You're going to need more and more nicotine to fix that, to feel better to get that dopamine released and so we want to help people quit."

The organization has resources available to help smokers. They offer quit kits, support groups and referrals to stop.

"It is hard to quit and we want to help people be successful and having that support is one of the key things," said Perry.

Tobacco Free Hall County will host webinars every Thursday this month at 3:30 p.m. It will teach parents how to talk to their kids if they suspect their kids are smoking or using drugs.

You can call the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline at 1 (800) 784-8669. Right now, they are providing a two-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy when you call.