We’ve heard the health experts talk about how smoking is linked to your risk of heart disease and different cancers.

But what happens if you catch COVID-19 and you smoke?

a red no smoking sign in the shape of the COVID virus particle with protruding red spikes

Smoking weakens your immune system and your ability to fight off infection. It’s also particularly bad news for your lungs. Lungs naturally secrete mucous, and in people with healthy lungs, the body very easily clears the mucous away. In smokers’ lungs, this mucous becomes sticky and builds up, making it more difficult for your body to clear. This mucous is more prone to infection.

Emerging research has found that if you smoke and catch COVID-19, you’re 80% more likely to be admitted to hospital. In hospital, you’re also more likely to require a ventilator to help you keep breathing, and significantly more likely to die from COVID-19 than non-smokers.

But here is the good news…

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to support your body in fighting off infection. Stopping smoking improves your blood pressure, your body’s ability to clear mucous in the lungs, and your overall immunity.

This all starts as soon as you smoke your last cigarette, and the benefits keep coming!

Since the pandemic started, researchers have found that more and more smokers are keen to kick the habit  - you are not alone!

“But how do I start?”

Everyone’s quitting journey is different, and you don’t have to do it alone. Find tips on our website, develop a Quit Plan or chat to a Quitline counsellor for free advice.

As soon as you quit, your body starts to repair itself. Find out what works for you and take it step by step 🏆

About author:

Other stories you may like

young girl standing in front of a wire fence, looking to her right where there is a 'no smoking' sign on the fence.

Keeping Australian Kids Safe from Tobacco Industry Tactics

Why in 2024 are we still dealing with the harmful influence of tobacco companies on our young people?

Formula One cars on a race track

Big Tobacco's sneaky grip on Formula One

Is your favourite team driven by them?

Stack emitting clouds of smoke

Is air pollution worse than smoking?

Tl;dr: air pollution and tobacco smoke both cause death and disease, but tobacco causes more of it.

Wooden logs piled in a forest clearing

Tobacco x the environment – a tale of pollution, poison and poverty

Quitting smoking could be the next big thing you do for the environment.

Free Quit Support

Talk to the Quitline

The Quitline is a confidential telephone advice and information service for people who want to quit smoking.

My QuitBuddy App

The My QuitBuddy App tracks your quitting progress, such as days smoke-free, cigarettes avoided, health gained and dollars saved.

Google Play ButtonApp Store Button
Proven Tips To Quit

Some people think quitting is about willpower, but to quit successfully means being prepared, and understanding your smoking triggers.

Find tips on quitting