COVID-19 Risks

Smoking may increase your risk of severe illness from COVID-19

You are more likely to be infected by COVID-19 if you smoke or vape.  Smokers may also be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  Here’s why:

• The action of bringing your hand to your mouth repeatedly can transfer the virus to your body, increasing your chances of getting COVID-19.
• Smoking is harmful to nearly every organ of your body, and can leave lung tissue inflamed, fragile, and more susceptible to infection.
• Tobacco use weakens the immune system, leaving smokers at higher risk for severe illness from respiratory diseases.
• Smoking can cause heart and lung disease and people, of any age, with these underlying chronic health conditions may be more likely to require hospitalization from COVID-19 infection.

For more information on other groups at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

Minimize your risk

Now is the best time to quit smoking and vaping!

Your body’s recovery process begins 20 minutes after smoking your last cigarette.  Read more about the benefits of quitting here.

Healthy lungs and a strong immune system will give you the best chance to fight back if you contract COVID-19.

Quit now to protect your health

Online, phone, and in-person support is available.

• The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline provides phone or web-based counseling, nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges* at no cost, and the services are available for adults and youth, ages 13 and older.

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or 1-800-784-8669

• Community Quit Smoking Programs connect you to certified tobacco treatment specialists. Find a community program near you.

Community Quit Smoking Programs

• For more resources specifically for parents, educators, and community providers who are concerned about youth vaping, visit

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)

*Nicotine replacement products are FDA-approved for adults and are not for youth aged 13 to 17 years.