NHS Long Term Plan Webinar Series
Smoking Cessation During COVID-19
Increased Risk and Increased Complications
13:00 - GMT
Dr Sanjay Agrawal
National specialty adviser for tobacco addiction
NHS England & Improvement
Director of Public Health
Hertfordshire County Council
To be Confirmed
The COVID-19 epidemic presents a unique public health opportunity for smoking cessation. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing COVID-19 and are also at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 complications. Although there are no data available regarding the benefits of smoking cessation during the COVID-19 epidemic, there is evidence to suggest that smoking cessation for 4 weeks or more will lessen the risk of developing COVID-19 as well as the risk of developing severe COVID-19 complications.
Smokers also have an increased risk of developing severe complications once they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. Although there are limited data available, studies from the surgical literature suggest that even 4 weeks of smoking cessation may decrease the risk of adverse outcomes and intubation associated with COVID-19.
Physicians can play a crucial role in helping smokers quit smoking during the COVID-19 epidemic. Physicians can use telemedicine to advise their patients regarding smoking cessation and to recommend pharmacotherapy.