We want to make sure we are supporting our patients, service users and colleagues to stay as well as possible during the outbreak of Corona Virus.
As well as following key hygiene and social distancing messages, we also wanted to alert you about an increased risk for people who smoke. The Chief Medical Officer has highlighted that people who smoke are at increased risk from COVID-19 (corona virus)
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
The repetitive hand to face movements associated with smoking increases the risk of passing the virus to your face and contracting the corona virus.
“If you are going to give up smoking, this is a very good moment to do it.”
Chief Medical officer Professor Chris Whitty. March 2020
It is therefore, a very important time to be talking to patients and service users who smoke about reducing their risk and encouraging them to try to quit or switch to alternative products. (see ELFT stop smoking policy for further advice ) See here for advice and support on quitting smoking.