The outbreak of COVID is a global concern. Fear and anxiety about a disease with high contagion rates can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions to arise in everyone. Learning to cope with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
According to CDC, during an infectious disease outbreak, some reactions are expected, such as increased use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs, fear and worry about our own health and others, changes in sleep and eating patterns, among others.
But unlike most of these common responses, smoking puts you in greater danger of contracting and surviving this infection. Smoking directly damages our lungs, provokes the continuous inflammation of our bodies, and diminishes the capacity of the heart to distribute blood throughout the body. Each of these factors is directly associated with giving COVID a better chance to spread and defeat your immune response.
Unfortunately, this is a particularly hard time to quit smoking. Anxiety levels are heightened due to a constant stream of stressful headlines in the media; the fact that convenience stores selling cigarettes continues to remain open; and working from home makes taking smoke breaks much easier. Thus, many people may turn to cigarettes while they are at-home as a way to manage anxiety and stress, since nicotine may create a calming sensation. While it may provide brief relief, it doesn’t address the underlying feelings that return shortly after that last cigarette. Smoking is part of the problem, and not part of the solution.
Once you stop, some benefits are immediate and others take more time. And considering that it is predicted that COVID-19 will reemerge during the next 12-18 months, strengthening your lungs is definitely a good idea. Actually, quitting now may be the best idea of all.
As a digital therapy company, we are focusing our efforts to help smokers by learning to quit with an evidence-based and highly efficient program while training their brain and body to conquer their anxiety and cravings.
We are now offering FREE access to our digital platform and a 15-minute session with a therapist to help smokers quit and take back their health.