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COVID-19 Guidance: Tobacco Use

Important Considerations

Smoking increases your risk for developing respiratory infections and weakened immune system. Smoking also causes a number of health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute respiratory distress syndrome, heart disease and diabetes.

Avoid the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses on smoking products like water pipes. Sharing products like or similar to water pipes can accelerate the transmission of COVID-19.

Smoking or vaping could increase your complications from COVID-19. When someone’s lungs are exposed to flu or other infections the adverse effects of smoking or vaping are much more serious than among people who do not smoke or vape. Taking steps to make sure your condition is well-controlled now can help decrease your risk of severe complications. You should talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about your health or how your health condition is being managed.

Take Control of Your Health

  • Don’t smoke or vape. If you need assistance, contact the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line (1-877-270-STOP)
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid allergy triggers such as pollen
  • Continue taking your medications as prescribed unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider
  • Eat a healthy balance diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats
  • Reduce stress by practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises
  • Stay physically active by creating a home workout routine
  • Get adequate rest

Have Necessary Supplies Ready

  • Ask your healthcare provider about receiving extra medications in case you need to stay home for longer than usual
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or history of lung disease may require the need for a nebulizer and additional inhalers
  • Diabetics should have glucose testing kit and strips or CGM sensors, ketone testing supplies, and sugar-free beverages
  • Individuals with heart conditions or history of stroke should have available a pressure cuff, self- monitoring logs and low-sodium foods
  • An asthmatic should have allergy and nebulizer medications to include additional inhalers

Take Everyday Steps to Prevent Germs and Infections

  • Avoid sharing cigarettes, hookahs, and vape products like e-cigarettes, vape pens, mods
  • Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and warm water or at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer solution when soap and water are not available
  • Cook food thoroughly
  • Avoid all crowds
  • Clean home surfaces and high touch areas frequently with a disinfectant product
  • Avoid sick individuals
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using the elbow method, or tissue which should be thrown in the trash
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Know When to Call Your Doctor

  • Watch for symptoms and warning signs of COVID-19 and call your doctor if you are experience fever, cough and shortness of breath
  • If you use tobacco products
    • Watch for warning signs such as inflammation in the airways, coughing, shortness of breath
  • If you have diabetes:
    • Watch for warning signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA): extreme thirst, frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, deep breathing, fruity smell to breath, stomach pain, can lead to a coma and even death if not treated
  • If you have heart conditions/history of strokes:
    • Watch for warning signs of heart attacks such as chest discomfort (uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain), discomfort in other areas of the upper body (both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach), and shortness of breath
    • Watch for warning signs of stroke such as face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, and/or sudden numbness. Call 911 Immediately
  • If you have asthma:
    • Watch for warning signs of an asthma attack that keeps getting worse, even with treatment
    • Watch for warning signs of wheezing or loss of breath quickly, tightness in the chest difficulty catching your breath or talking, a bluish or grayish tinge to your lips or fingernails. Call 911 Immediately