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COVID-19: Smoking and vaping risks

  • ​COVID-19 attacks the lungs. People who smoke, vape or use hookah may be especially at risk. This includes tobacco or marijuana. ​
  • Tobacco smoke and aerosol from vaping harms the cells of the lung and weakens the ability to respond to infection.
  • It's a good time to stop smoking or vaping! We can help.

Smoking/Vaping & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Give your lungs a fighting chance


Frequently Asked Questions

​Are people who smoke or vape at more risk from COVID-19?

Yes. If you smoke or vape and get the COVID-19 virus, you increase your risk of developing more severe COVID-19 symptoms. Smoking and vaping lower the lung’s immune response to infection. COVID-19 attacks the lungs, and people who smoke or vape are at higher risk of developing lung infections.

Bottom line: Your lungs and immune system work better when you stop smoking or vaping. 

For how long do people have to stop smoking to reduce their risk of COVID-19 and possible complications?

The exact length of time is not known. The good news is that your lungs work better when you stop smoking or vaping. Read more about how your body starts to repair itself quickly when you stop smoking.

Is it still safe to start, or continue to use, nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, etc.) and other stop smoking medications?

Yes, these products are FDA-approved and safe to use on your journey to quit tobacco. Products like nicotine patches or gum will help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Where can I get support to stop smoking or vaping?

California has free resources available - by phone, online, chat, text and apps. Now is a great time to quit smoking or vaping, and you can work through the stress and anxiety of quitting with caring counselors.

Kick It California Helpline provides free, personalized, and confidential quit smoking and vaping support in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Text and mobile app programs are also available. All of these services are free. You may be eligible for special offers that send free nicotine patches to your home. To see if you qualify, call 1-800-300-8086.

For free resources to quit vaping, call 1-844-866-8273. To help teens quit vaping, refer them to for free phone, chat, text, or mobile app support, or to This is Quitting, a free text messaging program designed for youth and young adults.

If I'm exposed to secondhand smoke, am I more at risk from COVID-19?

Secondhand smoke harms your lungs, and weakened lungs can lead to more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke. If you smoke, now is a great time to quit to protect your loved ones around you.

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