Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
Because the coronavirus attacks the lungs, experts are warning that those who smoke or vape are at greater risk for COVID-19 complications (Source: “Smokers and Vapers May be at Greater Risk for Covid-19,” New York Times, April 9, 2020).
“Quitting during this pandemic could not only save your life, but by preventing the need for your treatment in a hospital, you might also save someone else’s life,” said Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, director of pediatric research at the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Studies already amply show that cigarette smoking weakens the immune system and compromises lung function. Research into the health effects of vaping is limited because the devices are relatively new, but studies suggest that e-cigarettes may cause inflammation in the airways and lungs.
Warnings about smoking use and COVID are an especially important consideration in Ohio. The state ranks in the bottom quartile for adult smoking and children living in a household with a smoker, according to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio’s 2019 Health Value Dashboard. Analysis of the rankings found that tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure contribute to many of Ohio’s greatest health challenges, including infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and asthma.