Quit for COVID Campaign
“It is abundantly clear from the research into previous coronaviruses that smoking makes the impact of a coronavirus worse.” Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Current research suggests that smokers are approximately 2.5 times as likely to need treatment in an ICU or to die from COVID-19.
• Smoking damages the lungs and weakens your immune system. This makes it more likely smokers will get complications and take longer to recover from an illness.
• Secondhand smoke in the home and in other enclosed spaces also poses a risk. Children and those with existing health conditions are particularly at risk and smokers should take every effort to protect them from exposure.
• Smokers are also much more likely to get other health problems at a time when the NHS is under strain from COVID-19.
Campaign and materials
ASH, Breathe 2025, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG and the NCSCT have launched the #QuitforCovid campaign, promoting these messages to encourage smokers to quit to reduce their risks from COVID-19.
The Today is the Day website is promoting the campaign and sign-posting smokers to further advice and support.
A range of materials have been developed including:
1. Smoking and COVID-19 infographic
2. Videos with
a. Dr Nick Hopkinson, Reader in Respiratory Medicine and Chair of ASH
b. Dr Ruth Sharrock, Respiratory Consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead
A communications toolkit for local authorities is being developed and will be shared shortly.
A daily twitter ‘Quit Clinic’ is running from 7.30 to 8.30pm where people can put their questions to leading cessation expert Louise Ross. Join in by following @QuitforCovid and tweeting your question using #QuitforCovid
Help spread the message by:
• Using these graphics to share the Quit Clinic details on social media
• Sending the details to anyone currently quitting smoking
• Sharing these details with local professionals who might have questions about supporting their patients/ clients who want to quit smoking at this time
• Sharing these details with any organisation whose clients might need further support to quit
Louise is also delivering a weekly podcast ‘Quit Cast’ with Maggie Milne, a former smoker who quit using a stop smoking service and has become a Stop Smoking Service Manager and expert advisor.
There are further plans to directly engage smokers and to encourage healthcare professionals to deliver these messages. Join the Smokefree Pregnancy and Mental Health and Smoking Information Networks for further specific information.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to share any materials created using #QuitForCovid that you’re happy for colleagues to use/adapt (with credit) or suggestions for further resources, advice or guidance you would find helpful.