Tobacco and marijuana products damage lungs, where the virus does its harm. Health officials are urging people to quit, and temporary sales bans are even being discussed.

Anxious times — like a pandemic — can lead to unhealthy but self-soothing habits, whether it’s reaching for a bag of potato chips, more chocolate or another glass of wine. But some stress-reducing behaviors are alarming to medical experts right now — namely vaping and smoking of tobacco or marijuana.

Because the coronavirus attacks the lungs, this is exactly the moment, they say, when people should be tapering — or better yet, stopping — their use of such products, not escalating them.

”Quitting during this pandemic could not only save your life, but by preventing the need for your treatment in a hospital, you might also save someone else’s life,” said Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, director of pediatric research at the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

On Thursday, Dr. Winickoff joined the Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey, to issue an advisory alerting the public and particularly young people that smoking and vaping can also exacerbate the risks of spreading Covid-19.

Read full article here.

Jan Hoffman – The New York Times – May 8, 2020.

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