Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers’ Helpline

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Smokers’ Helpline

COVID-19 & quitting smoking

List of References, Articles & Studies

Link Between Smoking/Vaping and Increased Risks of Becoming Infected with COVID-19 and Developing Serious Complications from the Disease

World Health Organization statement: Tobacco Use and COVID-19, May 11th, 2020

This list is updated on an ongoing basis –the British Medical Journal Blog – COVID-19 and Smoking: Resources, Research and News

British Medical Journal Blog

Vardavas C, & Nikitara K. (2020) COVID-19 and smoking: A systematic review of the evidence. Tobacco Induced Diseases. doi:10.18332/tid/119324.,119324,0,2.html

Overall the authors concluded that “smoking is most likely associated with the negative progression and adverse outcomes of COVID-19.” One of the studies found that “smokers were 1.4 times more likely (RR=1.4, 95% CI: 0.98–2.00) to have severe symptoms of COVID-19 and approximately 2.4 times more likely to be admitted to an ICU, need mechanical ventilation or die compared to non-smokers.”

Brake S.J., Barnsley, K., Lu, W., Mcalinden K.D., Eapen, M.S., Sohal, S.S. (2020) Smoking upregulates angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 Receptor: A potential adhesion site for novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19). Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(3):841. doi:10.3390/jcm9030841.

The authors propose that a specific receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor which is the known receptor for both the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the human respiratory coronavirus NL638, may be a novel adhesion site for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Smoking can lead to more of these receptors, which may be the reason they appear to be more susceptible to this illness. This could also be true for new electronic smoking devices such as electronic cigarettes and “heat-not-burn” IQOS devices.

Liu, W., Tao Z.-W., Lei W., Ming-Li Y., Kui L., Ling Z., Shuang, W., Yan, D., Jing, L., Liu, H.-G., Ming, Y., & Yi, H. (2020) Analysis of Factors Associated with Disease Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients with 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease. Chinese Medical Journal. doi:10.1097/cm9.0000000000000775.

Lui and colleagues were one of the first to demonstrate the link between smoking and poor outcomes for COVID-19. A history of smoking was one of the factors that were identified as contributing to patients experiencing more serious health complications from COVID-19 infection (including progression of COVID-19 pneumonia and taking longer to recover from COVID-19 pneumonia).

Volkow, N. (2020, March 24) COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

This article reviews key research and facts about how individuals who smoke are at increased risk of developing COVID-19 and having more serious complications from the illness.

Glantz, S. (2020) Reduce your Risk of Serious Lung Disease Caused by Corona Virus by Quitting Smoking and Vaping. University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

This is another good article that provides a thorough review of the evidence of the links between smoking/vaping and COVID-19 risks.

Lewis, T. (2020, March 17) Smoking or Vaping May Increase the Risk of a Severe Coronavirus Infection. Scientific American.

This article details some of the mechanisms by which cigarette smoke and vaping aerosol may increase risk of developing COVID-19. For example, they conclude that cigarette smoking and vaping aerosol are linked to lung inflammation and lowered immune function. As well, a history of smoking was found to be one of the factors for the progression of COVID-19 pneumonia.

World Health Organization. (2020). Tobacco and Waterpipe Use Increases the Risk of Suffering from COVID-19.

This review of the evidence, from a very credible source, also points out the risks of virus transmission among waterpipe users in a group setting.

Williams, V. (2020, March 24) What Smokers Should Know about COVID-1. Mayo Clinic News Network.

Dr. Neal Patel, a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and critical care medicine specialist reinforces the message that smoking makes individuals more susceptible to developing COVID-19 and also encourages people to quit vaping, as well, to maintain lung health.

Simons, D., Perski, O. & Brown, J. (2020, March 24) Covid-19: The role of smoking cessation during respiratory virus epidemics. The BMJ Opinion.

A summary of the evidence is presented, along with highlights of some of the benefits of supporting smoking cessation through interventions and treatment.

Managing Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article reviews some helpful tips and strategies for managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tobacco Control during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Supporting Individuals in Living Tobaccofree

An overview of various tobacco control activities and how they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cochrane Special Collection: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Effective Options for Quitting Smoking During the Pandemic

A review of the evidence on effective smoking cessation programs and approaches.

COVID-19 and Cannabis Smoking & Vaping

Information on how cannabis smoking and vaping impact COVID-19 and other respiratory health risks.