AHEC Advice: Quitting Smoking Now Is More Important Than Ever

Most people are very vigilant about protecting themselves from the COVID-19 virus. Yet, tobacco smoking still remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in our society.

There has never been a greater need for smokers to seek the help they need in quitting tobacco use or vaping than now during this COVID-19 pandemic. Medical experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the American Lung Association agree in highlighting this urgent need.

Quitting smoking tobacco or electronic cigarettes can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection through less-frequent hand-to-mouth contact. It can also offer smokers the opportunity to build up their defenses in case they contract COVID-19, such as through improved lung function and removal of mucous buildup; reduced chronic inflammation and stronger immune system capacity; and improved circulatory and cardiac health—all of which are vital in overcoming COVID-19 disease.

The NSU-KPCOM Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program now offers free, virtual, online group-smoking cessation classes at multiple times during the week using accessible, easy-to-use, web-based teleconferencing technology. These virtual classes are provided in the same interactive, friendly, respectful, and supportive atmosphere that has been a hallmark of AHEC’s community tobacco cessation services for more than a decade. Eligible participants may receive free over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, gums, and lozenges.

For specific details or to register, please call the AHEC Program at (954) 262-1580 or visit www.ahectobacco.com.