Smoking and COVID-19

The Chief Medical Officer has highlighted that smokers are more susceptible to respiratory infections making it more important than ever to think about quitting.

Smoking harms the immune system, reducing the bodies’ natural protection against infections, like Coronavirus. Smokers are therefore at greater risk of:

  • getting acute respiratory infections
  • the infection lasting longer
  • the infection being more serious than it would be for someone who does not smoke

These risks are also greater for people exposed to secondhand smoke, including children, so wherever possible we’re encouraging smokers not to smoke in the home.

Research in the New England Journal of Medicine from COVID-19 patients in China, shows that these impacts are being seen among smokers with COVID-19. Among the research cohort, smokers were about 1.5 times more likely to see their disease progress to the severe stage compared to non-smokers.


Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Public Health charity, Ash says:

“Smokers are more likely to get respiratory infections and twice as likely to develop pneumonia as non-smokers…Quitting smoking is good for your health in so many ways and smokers should see coronavirus as further motivation to give quitting a go to build up their body’s defences now before coronavirus becomes widespread in the UK.”


We’re currently offering a telephone support service for anyone who wants to quit so either call us on 0800 013 0553 or refer yourself online.