We are experiencing a time where looking after ourselves has never been so important, for everyone. And there has never been a better time to quit smoking. In these unprecedented times, it is time to value your health as a priority.

According to Quit.org.au People who smoke are generally at higher risk of respiratory tract infections, like lung and chest infections, but there is currently not enough evidence to be certain that smoking poses a higher risk of COVID-19. However, people with poor lung health and other conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer may be at higher risk of complications if they do become infected with the virus.

It’s not clear how long a person needs to stop smoking to reduce their risk of these complications. It’s important to remember stopping has many health benefits, even beyond a link with COVID-19, so it’s always a good time to quit.

There is growing evidence to suggest that people who smoke are likely to be more severely impacted by COVID-19, because smoking damages the lungs so that they don’t work as well. For example, lungs naturally produce mucus, but people who smoke have more and thicker mucus that is hard to clean out of the lungs. This mucus clogs the lungs and is prone to becoming infected. Smoking also affects the immune system, making it harder to fight infection.

There is also evidence that people with other health conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer are more likely to experience severe complications of COVID-19. Smoking increases the risk of many of these conditions.