Smokers are more susceptible to COVID-19 compared to non-smokers

Smokers on the Central Coast are again being urged to quit following World No Tobacco Day, to avoid the risk posed to them by COVID-19.

The advice comes from Central Coast Local Health District’s Health Promotion Service after the annual awareness day, which falls on May 31.

Dr Lyndon Bauer, the service’s research and evaluation officer and a local GP, warns that the evidence suggests that smokers are more susceptible to developing more severe diseases like COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.

“We know from previous viral respiratory infections that the damage caused by smoking to both your lungs and your immune system means that you’re likely to have more severe symptoms.

“This increased risk of severe symptoms if you develop COVID-19, means that it’s more important this year than ever to quit smoking,” Dr Bauer said.

Organised annually by the World Health Organisation, this year’s World No Tobacco Day theme was focused on protecting younger people from industry manipulation that attracts them to nicotine and tobacco products.

Smoking rates amongst adults on the Central Coast (14.5 per cent) are currently on a par with rates across NSW (14.8 per cent) and have fallen more than 40 per cent over the last 15 years, down from 24.5 per cent in 2003.

Press release, May 28
Central Coast Health