We are learning new things about Coronavirus every day. We know that smoking increases your risk of a less than desirable outcome, if you get Covid-19.
If you are a smoker, you have an increased risk of hospitalization and death from the virus according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smoking impairs lung function making it more difficult to fight off diseases such as Coronavirus and others. Smokers also are more likely to have other diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which further increases their risk of bad outcomes.
If you smoke, QUIT! If you are a former smoker, don’t start again! And if you have never smoked, don’t start.
So, what can you do to help yourself if you smoke? Set a quit day. Set your quit day for a week or two out, but no more. As your quit day approaches, gather your cheerleaders. Get your family and friends to help you and encourage you. If any of them are smokers, tell them you do not want them to smoke around you. Get rid of your ashtrays and other reminders. If you always smoke while you talk on the phone, or with your coffee, etc., prepare for these times by making sure you have chewing gum or hard candy close. Expect these urges and get prepared.
When your quit day comes and you aren’t successful, try again. Know that with every quit attempt you make, you are closer to quitting than ever before. Remember: quitting isn’t easy, but it can be done. Speak with your physician about which nicotine replacement therapy is right for you.
If you would like to speak with someone about quitting, call Sherry Hayman RN, CTTS at the Meigs County Health Department at 740-992-6626 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also seek assistance at Ohio’s Quitline- 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to smokefree.gov.
Jessica Snoke is the Fiscal Officer at the Meigs County Health Department.