Smoking can increase your chances of contracting COVID-19, World Health Organization says

For Your Health

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The World Health Organization said using tobacco products can increase your chances of contracting COVID-19.

“If you get COVID-19 and you’re a smoker or a vapor your prognosis just isn’t as good, you have twice the likelihood of ending up in ICU and being put on a vent,” Meagan Williams with Tobacco Free Amarillo, said.

When people smoke they put their hands to their face and mouth which can transfer the virus into your body. Health experts say it can weaken your respiratory system.

“We know that using tobacco products as well as electronic nicotine disperse systems does have a reduction your respiration and your breathing,” Joseph Dad, Director of Behavioral Health, explained.

Local groups like Tobacco Free Amarillo are trying to encourage people to quit smoking with a campaign they call “Quit Monday Amarillo.’

“This is a virus that causes extreme damage and can be deadly so to fight this virus we need your lungs as healthy as possible and you smoke and you vape and your lungs are not as healthy as they can be,” Williams said.

According to Dad, the longer a person smokes, the more help they may need to fight off a virus such as COVID-19.

“When we have someone who has been a long-time tobacco user, they do seem to have a likelihood of needing more intensive care,” dad explained.

For those on the high plains looking to quit, Tobacco Free Amarillo said they have you covered.

“We have a tremendous amount of resources available to the community to help them quit,” Williams said.

There is a Cessation App that you can download and text 47848 to get support.

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