Many of our plans for 2020 went up in smoke because of an invisible aggressor: SARS-COV-2. This novel coronavirus has challenged just about every healthcare and public health system around the world. Depending on where you live, the impact on personal health and loss of life has probably been either great or enormous with very few exceptions.
Among the risk factors for infection and poor outcomes of infection are chronological age, and underlying metabolic conditions – particularly diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and chronic kidney disease. Since these diseases are usually associated with lifestyle behavior, our usual approach to prevent, control, manage, and even reverse (when possible) these diseases is very relevant in this pandemic era. The tools that we have developed over the years, such as CELEBRATIONS, have become even more useful among those who see that COVID-19, a communicable disease, exploits the vulnerability of those people who have underlying risk factors for, or actually suffer from so-called non-communicable diseases or conditions!
Smoking and vaping (e-cigarettes) have recently joined the list of potential risk factors. Researchers found that smokers were more susceptible to infection and more likely to suffer from a more serious infection during the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) outbreak. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, the concern is that smoking or vaping could create a one-two punch, since smoking irritates the sensitive lung tissues and stimulates mucus production and inflammation, so people who smoke are more likely to have serious respiratory infections and illnesses, such as influenza and pneumonia. The second punch is related to the social aspect of smoking and vaping. Additionally, vaping has created concern of increased COVID-19 among younger people. The pandemic has given yet another opportunity for tobacco users to recognize the serious health and addiction risks and to consider quitting.
A Massachusetts General Hospital survey of 1,024 adults (age 18 and up) evaluated the 6-month use of cigarettes or e-cigarettes. Thirty-three percent of the smokers studied increased smoking because of increased stress. Participants expressed interest in getting help to quit. Cessation assistance during this time was recommended by the researchers to reduce stress-related increases in product use and improve the success rates among those willing to quit using tobacco products. Breathe-Free 2 helps smokers do just that! Our wholistic lifestyle approach to health includes smoking cessation, so that no one has to have their whole life go up in smoke. You can find more information about Breathe Free 2 under the Resources session of this newsletter.
Let’s use what we have in lifestyle approaches to include smoking cessation so that no one has to have their whole life go up in smoke.