Quit tobacco now to protect your lungs against respiratory illness | Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Quit tobacco now to protect your lungs against respiratory illness

April 10, 2020




The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a disease that affects the respiratory system, which primarily includes your lungs and your ability to breathe.

Smokers and people using vape pens or e-cigarettes may have less efficient lungs and may be hit harder by breathing issues resulting from the virus. ANTHC and the State of Alaska have resources available for quitting smoking, vaping and other tobacco product use. Contact the Alaska Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to learn more about free services for quitting tobacco, including over the phone and virtual consultation.

Considerations for people using tobacco products:

  • Smoking and vaping harms lung function, putting people at greater risk for complications related to COVID-19.
  • Smoking and vaping increase the risk for respiratory infections, and is a major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes. These factors put people who smoke at greater risk when confronted with the coronavirus.
  • Smoking and vaping may lead to preexisting but undiagnosed lung conditions, that can make recovery from respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19, more difficult.

The good news is that once you quit using tobacco products, your lungs and other organs can begin to heal themselves. There has never been a better time for smokers to quit and for individuals to protect their health by avoiding use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Talk to your health care provider about quitting tobacco. You can also contact the ANTHC Tobacco Cessation program at (907) 729-4343 or the Alaska Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to learn more about free services when you are ready to quit.


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