COVID-19 and Smoking: What We Know
Being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- People of any age who have underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified smoking as one of these underlying medical conditions.
- Smoking increases the risk for respiratory infections, weakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and diabetes.
- Among adults who contracted COVID-19, smokers (current or former) were 2.3 times more likely to be hospitalized than non-smokers, according to a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC.
- Smoking was identified as a risk factor for progression of COVID-19, with smokers having higher odds of COVID-19 progression than never smokers, in a meta-analysis of 19 peer-reviewed papers consisting of 11,590 COVID-19 patients.
- A January 2021 article from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that increased cumulative smoking was associated with a higher risk of hospitalization and mortality from COVID-19 in a dose-dependent manner.
Vaping may increase your risk of COVID-19 infection
- There is growing evidence that e-cigarette use, or vaping, can negatively impact lung health, as seen in the E-cigarette, or Vaping, Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) outbreak.
- A new study of 4,351 adolescents and young adults found COVID-19 diagnosis was 5 times more likely among ever-users of e-cigarettes only, 7 times more likely among ever-dual-users (users of both e-cigarettes and cigarettes), and 6.8 times more likely among past 30-day dual-users.
Quitting smoking has immediate health benefits
- The body begins repairing itself immediately after quitting smoking.
- Just 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate lowers.
- Two weeks to 3 months after quitting, your heart attack risk begins to drop, and your lung function begins to improve.
- One year after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease cuts to half that of smokers.
There has never been a better time to quit smoking and vaping
- The Montana Tobacco Quit Line is open and ready to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit quitnowmontana.com.
- The Montana Tobacco Quit Line offers free coaching, free nicotine replacement therapy and Bupropion at a $5 copay to all Montanans.
- There’s no need to leave your home; nicotine replacement therapy will be shipped directly to your residence.
- Medicaid enrollees have access to free nicotine replacement therapy, free Bupropion and free Chantix with a doctor’s prescription. Many pharmacies are offering free delivery of medications right now. Call your doctor today.
- If your child is one of 5 Million kids who use e-cigarettes, help your child quit. There's never been a better time to encourage them to get help at MyLifeMyQuit, for people under 18 only.
For More Information, visit
- People Who Are at Higher Risk - CDC
- COVID-19 in Montana
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
- Action on Smoking and Health
- COVID-19 and Smoking Printable Factsheet
Program Goal Areas
Tobacco Control Partners
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Americans for Nonsmokers Rights
Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Center of Disease Control
National Association of County & City Health Officials
National Jewish Medical and Research Center
National Native Network
Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council
Tobacco News and Information
World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control