Letter to the editor: Covid-19 provides new motivation to quit smoking

By DONNA McGINLEY

South Central Alliance for Tobacco Prevention, Mauston, Wis.

Covid-19 is providing current smokers another reason to quit, and many are. Cigarette smoking can suppress the immune system and cause heart and lung disease. Because of this, the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have identified people who smoke are at greater risk of more severe symptoms from Covid-19. The good news is free help to quit is just one text away.

If you are ready to quit, you can text “Ready” to 200-400 to enroll in free quit services through the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line. After answering three simple questions via text messages, the quit line will contact you by phone within 48 hours to get you enrolled.

There are many benefits to quitting smoking on top of lowering your risk of severe Covid-19 symptoms. After just two weeks to three months, your heart-attack risk drops and lung function begins to improve. In two to five years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker. In addition, you are creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your loved ones by reducing secondhand smoke.

Anyone who is ready to quit should contact the quit line by texting “Ready” to 200-400 or by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669).

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