Tips for Smokers and Tobacco Users

Tobacco use of any kind at any time is bad. It causes harm not just to the users but to those around them. With new coronavirus attacking the lungs, some say it can be a serious threat to those who smoke tobacco both through cigarettes and waterpipe, marijuana, or those who vape. The new coronavirus spreads through droplets from the mouth and nose, so the spitting that often accompanies chewing tobacco may also pose a risk for spreading the new coronavirus. Besides the risks associated with the new coronavirus, quitting smoking improves your health and reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. We are drawing this information from the websites of a variety of trustworthy organizations (e.g., United States Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization).

Tip 1: Practice social distancing and frequent hand washing.

If you have lung disease related to smoking, you may be at a higher risk for complications when contracting the new coronavirus. Practice social distancing by staying 3-6 feet or 1-2 meters away from others who may be infected and wash your hands frequently, including after the use of tobacco products.

Tip 2: Now might be a good time to quit smoking.

When you are not around other smokers, quitting can be easier. Check out these resources to help you quit. These resources include quitline phone numbers, texting messages, and social support that do not require you to leave your home.

Tip 3: Vaping is not a safer alternative.

Because vaping can also damage your lungs, vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking and can also impact complications related to the new coronavirus. Don’t vape.

Tip 4: Chewing tobacco is not a safer alternative.

Chewing tobacco is not a safer alternative to smoking. Because the new coronavirus spreads from person to person through droplets from the mouth, nose, and possibly eyes, it is best to refrain from the use of chewing tobacco especially when spitting. It may be a good time to quit chewing. Quitting is good for your health, improves hygiene all around and also helps your family and friends.

This material was curated by Viswanath Lab of Harvard Chan School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) with the help of the Health Communication Core  of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). These are  not the official views of Harvard Chan  or DFCI. For any questions, comments or suggestions reach out to