It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that smokers are more vulnerable to COVID-19, a virus that attacks the respiratory system.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement saying that smokers are in fact at high of contracting the virus.
According to WHO, “the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.”
Further, smokers may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.
And not just cigarettes, but vapes and other smoking products such as water pipes aka shishas are also advised again. According to WHO, “water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings.”
Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia.
So, if you are a smoker, now is the best time to quit. Here are a few tips on how to kick the habit:
Before going cold turkey, understand that your brain is addicted to nicotine and will crave it. Consult a physician on what route you can take for an alternative. Some people choose to go for nicotine patches or gum. There are also pills and hypnotherapy, but we strongly advise you speak to your doctor before hand. Do not rely on alternatives such as vapes or shishas or even alcohol. They can be just as bad if not worse than cigarettes.
Many smokers rely on smoking to release stress. You will have to look for alternate ways to release this stress. Listen to music, pick a hobby, get a massage, or kick back and watch a movie.
Exercising is your best way to a) get your mind off nicotine cravings and b) to rebuild your stamina and lung capacity. Go out for a walk or start practicing yoga.
Do not relapse
Remember, that the first 5 days of smoking are the hardest. If you make it past that, it’ll be easier to not cave in and have “just one last smoke”.
Give yourself a reward
Set goals and reward yourself. It could be badges for every month you are smoke free or a special treat like an expensive meal or whatever is on your shopping list.