UAB: Smoking is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness

Smoking risks and covid

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB is getting the word out about how smoking and vaping can impact you if you are exposed to COVID-19. Researchers say that smokers and those who vape are at high-risk for complications from the virus.

According to the CDC, smoking is one of the risk factors of severe COVID illness. Tobacco control expert Dr. Susan Walley with UAB says smoking and vaping increases your risk of respiratory infections and weakens your immune system.

Things like cancer and C.O.P.D are often a result of smoking and that can increase your risk of getting sick and ending up in the hospital or worse. Dr. Walley calls it a double whammy if it happens to you.

“Ideally, we don’t want smokers to be in that position where they’re going to the intensive care unit…being on a ventilator and so we’re trying for prevention and trying to help people quit,” Walley said.

The CDC is prioritizing smokers to get the vaccine over other groups. A lot of folks are complaining about that online, but the CDC says smokers are at a higher risk of getting sicker when they catch COVID-19.

You can learn more about the risk factors here: https://www.uab.edu]

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