Don’t Smoke ANYTHING!

April 10th, 2020

Right now, we are in a dire crisis with COVID19 spreading rapidly.  This virus can cause severe damage to the lungs.  So far we are seeing a high percentage of people who are being put on ventilators to help their lungs recover.  Many of these people have pre-existing lung damage from smoking tobacco, marijuana, or vaping.  In an article in the New York Times titled “Smokers and Vapers may be at greater risk for COVID-19“, they mention that the chemicals in all forms of inhaled smoke can damage lungs, making them more vulnerable to more severe damage from the deadly virus. Also, the act of putting something to your lips, could risk transmitting the virus.

If you’ve been considering quitting tobacco, vaping, or smoking marijuana, now is the time to do it.  Your life may depend on it!

Here’s a list of how you can quit smoking.

  • Set a quit date.  This is a date that you determine will be the day you will end your smoking habit for good.  I recommend that people choose a date that has an emotional significance to them such as a child’s birthday or religious holiday so that you can mark the anniversary of being smoke-free each year.
  • If you are someone who likes to fidget with smoking paraphernalia (playing with lighters, vape pens, etc.), find something to do with your hands.  Fidget spinners, knitting, rubbing a “worry stone”, rubbing a coin in your pocket, etc. are all things to keep your fingers occupied.
  • If you have an “oral fixation” where you feel like you need to chew something or suck on something, find some strong mints or sugar free gum and use that daily.
  • If you are addicted to nicotine, contact your doctor to get nicotine replacement AND medication to stop the craving (Chantix or Zyban).  The combination of both drastically reduces the craving and statistically increases your ability to quit forever.
  • Remove paraphernalia of smoking such as ashtrays, lighters, boxes of cigarettes, vaping cartridges, etc. from sight.  If you don’t see it, you would be less inclined to use it.
  • Encourage your friends not to smoke around you.  Peer pressure plays a big role in the smoking addiction.  Let your friends know you are quitting and need their help.  Who knows, you may even be a positive influence on them as well!
  • Need more help?  There are numerous resources online from your local health department.  Try smokefree.gov.