Smoking and Coronavirus
Smoking causes damage to the lungs and weakens a person's immune system. This makes it more likely that if a person falls sick, they can have complications and take longer to recover. The evidence clearly shows COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk.
It doesn't matter what kind of smoking a person does – cigarettes, shisha, cannabis, or any other substances will also increase a person's risks.
Secondhand smoke in the home and in other enclosed spaces also increase the risk. This is particularly so for children and those with existing health conditions, so smokers should take every effort to protect them from exposure by going smoke free.
Smokers who are self-isolating and are not able to go outside to smoke should seek alternatives such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or e-cigarettes to protect the people around them from harm. Our specialist service can offer telephone support and medication to help you stay smokefree. You can refer yourself to us by filling in our online form.
Fresh has produced two videos explaining the risks related to smoking and COVID-19 and encouraging smokers to quit:
Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock said:
“It is abundantly clear from the research into previous coronaviruses that smoking makes the impact of a coronavirus worse."
This echoes the advice of the Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty to the Health Select Committee who said:
“If you are going to give up smoking, this is a very good moment to do it."
Advice for smokers
Quitting smoking is an important way for individuals to reduce their risk from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Smoking increases the risk of lung infections. Smokers are twice as likely to get pneumonia and five times more likely to get flu than non-smokers.
Quitting smoking rapidly reduces your risk of other health problems such as heart attack and stroke. It is especially important to prevent these problems, at a time like now, when health systems are going to come under strain.
eCigarettes and coronavirus
There has been some suggestion in the media that e-cigarette use could increase risks from COVID-19. There is no clear evidence for this suggestion, and while we know smoking is a definite risk factor, we would continue to encourage smokers to think about switching to e-cigarettes to reduce their risk of respiratory infections. We are expecting further guidance on COVID-19 and smoking from Public Health soon and will share any updates as soon as they become available.
To contact the Stop Smoking Service, please call 01642 727655 / 727579.
Volunteering Opportunities for 14-16 year olds
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is committed to actively enforcing legislation aimed at reducing the availability of age-restricted products to underage purchasers. It is our belief that the removal of the supply source for age restricted goods to young persons will contribute, in part, to their long-term health and safety and that of the region as a whole.
In order to do this we carry out test purchase exercises at retail premises. The purpose of each exercise is to determine compliance with the provisions of the relevant legislation, through the use of a child volunteer in the attempted purchase of alcohol, cigarettes, lighter fuel, fireworks etc. at specified premises within the Borough.
Only volunteers clearly under the target age are asked to take part by the Service. In addition their actual age should ideally be eighteen months below the age restriction of the goods to be purchased on the day of the exercise.
The health and wellbeing of the volunteer is of paramount importance and will always override other operational requirements.
We are always interested in recruiting new volunteers. If this is something you think you might be interested in knowing more about then please contact the Trading Standards Team by email