Smoking, Vaping, and COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together some answers to common questions about smoking and COVID-19. Read about the evidence and learn how to keep yourself safe.

As COVID-19 continues to progress, questions are arising about the relationship between smoking and the virus, particularly if continuing to smoke makes you more likely to get COVID-19. QuitNow is always here to help, especially in times of uncertainty, and we want to provide you with fact-based answers to the questions you might have.

 

Key points:

  • There is strong evidence that smoking increases the risk of both bacterial and viral infections, such as the common cold or flu.
  • Smoking weakens the body’s immune cells over time and makes it harder to fight infections. Tobacco smoke also impacts lung function, such as by causing mucus buildup in your lungs, which also increases the risk of infection.
  • We do not know how these factors relate specifically to COVID-19, but the key takeaway is that there could be a link, and attempting to quit could help lower your risk and reduce your chances of complications from the virus.
  • QuitNow is here to support you, whether you are ready to quit or would just like more information.

Please note: If you have specific questions about COVID-19 or are experiencing any symptoms, please visit the Health Link BC or the BC Centres for Disease Control websites or call 1-888-COVID19 for more information on the virus.

Below are some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and smoking/vaping:

What about e-cigarettes? Are they a safer alternative?

We are still learning about the effects that e-cigarettes have on your health. So far, we know that vaping can irritate the throat and cause damage to the cells that line your airway, making them more susceptible to infection. It can also cause damage to your lungs over time, reducing their ability to fight off infections as well as increasing your risk of chronic lung diseases like asthma. The link between vaping and risks of infections like the flu has not yet been researched, but is likely similar to the risks posed by smoking. 

From what we do know about vaping and its effects, when it comes to COVID-19, vaping would do more harm than good. If you are looking to quit smoking, it would be better to try another quit method rather than switching to vaping.

If you currently vape, quitting could help protect your health. It’s always a good time to quit.