Do the COVID QUIT!
There's never been a better time to quit smoking. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw just how vulnerable our bodies can be, and doesn't it make sense to do everything we can to prevent disease from exploiting our weaknesses? Smoking weakens your lungs, which is where the coronavirus takes hold. Smoking also weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight off infections. In fact, smoking damages nearly every organ in the body. The good news is, now there are more resources than ever to help people quit!
Is there any evidence to support the speculation that nicotine protects lungs from COVID-19 infection?
This pandemic has been full of fear, worry and anxiety for me. How can I manage my stress without smoking?
I work at a substance abuse treatment facility. I want to encourage our clients to quit smoking because of extra risk from COVID-19, but am hesitant; it seems like too much to add to their plates right now. Is it?
SmokefreeTXT: A mobile text messaging service designed for adults and young adults across the United States who are trying to quit smoking.
Quitlines: If you want to talk to a quit smoking counselor right away, call 1–800–QUIT–NOW (1–800–784–8669). This page from the CDC has videos that show what your patients can expect when they call 1-800-QUIT-NOW and how they can get the most out of their experience. When someone calls 1-800-QUIT-NOW, they can speak confidentially with a highly trained quit coach. Quitlines provide many of the services and similar support found in a stop-smoking class or from a doctor, and can be a valuable complement to a doctor’s care. Quitlines are available throughout the United States. Coaching help is available in several languages. View the CDC’s Five Reasons Why Calling a Quitline Can Be Key to Your Success.
Quit Smoking Apps: Mobile phone applications can help you prepare to quit, provide support, and track your progress.
Friends and Family: Getting support from the important people in your life can make a big difference during your quit.
Medications: Doctors can prescribe medicine that may help you quit. There are also over-the-counter products available. If you are using one of these, such as the patch, gum, or lozenges, make sure you have them on hand. Speak to your doctor about the possibility of combining these options to help control your cravings.
Order Quitcards: There are over 4 million QUIT NOW cards in circulation and all types of health professionals and counselors, and peers currently use the approach and the card to help smokers quit. Submit this form and someone will contact you to complete your order. Please allow 4–6 weeks for shipping from our vendor A4. 250 card minimum order. Cards are free of charge.
Toolkits and Information: There are several recommended places for healthcare providers to find helpful resources online, including:
- Resources for Health Professionals at Smokefree.gov
- CDC Healthcare Provider Resources
- Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC)
Webinars: SCLC offers Continuing Education Units for our live webinars and some recorded collections. Find information on our next live webinar here and peruse previous webinars in our archive. To receive information and reminders about upcoming webinars and more tobacco-related news join our listserv
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Tell us how YOU COVID Quit!
Share your story via email or use #ICOVIDQUIT on social media to inspire others.
“It’s a feedback loop. When I would smoke, the feedback loop was, “I’m stressed, I don’t know what to do, I can’t handle this, smoking a cigarette will make me feel better.” Which it did for, like, five minutes, but then I would want another cigarette, or I would feel guilty, or gross, or unhealthy. But now, that feedback loop is gone because I make other decisions like going for a walk… drinking some juice… calling a friend… And it creates a feedback loop of positivity and health and wellbeing that helps me keep moving forward to reach my goals.
It is really hard and it might take you more than one try. But, you just try again. You start again. So, there’s no shame in starting again. And with COVID, I started to think about my family – the people I love, the people I hold dear to me, the young people that I support in different ways. You have so many gifts to give this world. I recognized the gifts I had, and if I was dead, I couldn’t share those gifts. So… Realize the gifts that you have, realize the love you have to give this world, regardless of the difficulties that are present in this world, especially with this pandemic. And if you quit or try to quit, you will be better able to be in this world as your whole self and give this world what we really need from you. Like love, joy, and all the gifts that you have.”
—Katie, Oakland, CA