Lifestyle Medicine Week: Day 1, Smoking Cessation
How do smoking or vaping affect risk of developing SARS-COV-2 (Corona virus) and affect the ability to recover once infected? Are you or a loved one thinking about quitting/trying to quit but not sure how?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most smoking behaviors begin during the teen years with 90-98% of smokers having the first smoke by age 26. Flavored tobaccos and e-cigarettes are also very popular, with high levels of use starting from middle-school age.
Cutting down or eliminating tobacco use can be difficult. There is an increase in motivation to cut down or quit due to the harm that smoking causes to lung health. Smoking and vaping are associated with increased vulnerability to infections; additionally, smoking behaviors are associated with double the risk of disease progression for those that have SARS-COV-2/COVID-19.
Current treatment guidelines indicate that counseling/therapy and medication intervention are most effective for decreasing or stopping tobacco use. As you think about cutting down use or stopping all together, identify why you smoke and how ready you are to change. These are two key factors to successful quitting and limiting relapse risk.
Therapy can help you to break up the lifestyle patterns around nicotine or e-cigarette use. It can also help to develop new ways of approaching stressful situations and enhancing relaxation experiences in healthful ways. Whether your strategy is to quit “cold turkey” or quit more gradually with a progressive decrease in use over time, having a clear plan to prevent relapse and “cheat days” is also recommended.
This is an additional guide to help with cutting down on tobacco use from a medical approach.
<3 Be well !
All blog posts from Dr. Soo Hoo are provided for educational and informational purposes only. As Dr. Soo Hoo is a licensed clinical and health psychologist, we must make it clear that nothing on the blog is intended to constitute medical or psychological advice, consultation, recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are concerned about your health, please seek appropriate care in your area.