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:

Will quitting smoking reduce my chances of getting COVID-19?

We don’t know yet if quitting smoking can specifically reduce your risk of getting COVID-19. Quitting smoking can help improve your lung function over time, as well as reduce your risk of lung infections like pneumonia. As little as 72 hours after you quit smoking, breathing becomes easier as your bronchial tubes are able to start self-cleaning again, which helps clear your airway.  


That being said, information about COVID-19 is continuously evolving, and we are still learning about how the virus works and what might increase someone's risk of developing complications. Quitting smoking may or may not reduce your chances of getting COVID-19, but it can likely help prevent the infection from getting worse if you do get the virus. Quitting smoking may also be good for public health, because it could help reduce community transmission of the virus, helping us as a community to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 epidemic.  


It’s always a good time to quit, and right now anything you can do to help make your lungs and your immune system stronger is a good idea.