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Quitting smoking is an important part of fighting COVID-19

07 January 2021

Public Service Announcement

Quitting smoking is an important part of fighting COVID-19

This January, join the Department of Health and support Tobacco Reduction Month!

Inhaling tobacco and cannabis smoke is harmful for the lungs. Having lung problems from smoking might increase the risk of getting COVID-19 and may make some symptoms of the illness worse. The act of smoking, as well as sharing cigarettes and joints, makes it easier for the virus to get from the hands to the mouth.

It is important for everyone, especially those who smoke tobacco, cannabis or vape, to consider the following recommendations:

  • Wash your hands often with soap.
  • Avoid sharing cigarettes, joints, pipes and vaporizers.
  • Avoid picking up discarded cigarette or cannabis butts.
  • Do not touch your face and mouth with your hands.
  • Avoid inhaling smoke deeply or holding your breath since this can increase the amount of toxins in the lungs.
  • Avoid close contact with family and friends while smoking. This will help minimize exposure to second-hand smoke and possibly the virus.

Your health can noticeably improve in the days and weeks after quitting smoking in ways that could make a difference against the virus and in your overall health.

Support to quit smoking is available. Message a counsellor on the Tobacco Has No Place Here Facebook page or call 1-866-368-7848 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Medications are available that help with cravings and withdrawal from nicotine, like the nicotine patch, gum and inhaler. Call your local health centre or pharmacy to learn how to access these products.

This year, National Non-Smoking Week (NNSW) takes place towards the end of Tobacco Reduction Month from January 17 to 23, 2021. NNSW has been celebrated annually in Canada since 1977 to encourage quitting tobacco use.

To learn more, check out the Tobacco Has No Place Here Facebook page or visit


Media Contact:

Danarae Sommerville
Communications Specialist
Department of Health