This Version Posted: May 25, 2020
The current COVID-19 situation is causing lots of stress and anxiety for people. It may be triggering you to smoke more often, restart your tobacco habit or put off quitting entirely.
This is understandable, but not the best approach. Even in these difficult times, many programs and supports are still available to help you quit smoking. And while there are always health benefits to going tobacco-free, doing so during COVID-19 may be even more important to your well-being!
Smokers at Higher Risk
- The act of smoking means a smoker’s fingers (or contaminated cigarette) come in contact with the lips. This increases the risk of the virus being spread from hand-to-mouth.
- Smokers may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which increases the risk of serious respiratory illness like COVID-19.
- Cigarettes, vaping devices, water pipes and related smoking products (including mouth pieces) are often shared with others. This also leads to a higher risk of illness.
- Smokers’ Helpline – Free, confidential service operated by the Canadian Cancer Society to support people trying to quit smoking
- Talk Tobacco: Indigenous Quit Smoking and Vaping Support – Call 1-833-998-8255 to access this free, confidential service operated by the Canadian Cancer Society to support Indigenous people to quit smoking/vaping
- Telehealth Ontario – Call 1-866-366-3667 to speak to a Registered Nurse on how to quit (NOTE: Because of high call volumes due to COVID-19, there may be longer wait times than normal)
- Ontario Government – Support to Quit Smoking
- Canadian Cancer Society – Live Smoke-Free
- Lung Association – How to Quit Smoking
- Contact your health care provider for advice, support and resources to quit (NOTE: While some doctors’ offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19, many are still able to help by phone)