The #QuitforCovid campaign begins in Camden and Islington on Monday 8 June. The campaign is to support people to quit smoking, particularly at a time when people who smoke are putting themselves at a greater risk of developing severe disease from the Covid-19 virus.
Smoking damages the lungs and weakens the immune system, which may make the impact of coronavirus worse. Smokers are twice as likely to get pneumonia and five times more likely to get flu than non-smokers. Smoking of any kind, not just cigarettes, but shisha, cannabis or any other substances will also increase health risks such as heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer at a time when the NHS is under strain from Covid-19.
Supporting you to quit
Breathe can help you stop smoking, offering all their support over the phone. Call 020 3633 2609 or visit www.breathestopsmoking.org.
You can also sign up to regular texts from Stop Smoking London via: https://stopsmokinglondon.com/textme. Or get 24/7 support by downloading My Quit Route app for android and iOS, free for Camden and Islington residents.
Benefits of quitting smoking
As well as reducing your risk from infections such as Covid-19, there are many other health benefits to quitting smoking:
8 hours after your last cigarette, your oxygen levels return to normal
72 hours after your last cigarette, your breathing becomes easier
3 to 9 months after your last cigarette, lung function increases by up to 10%
An estimated 2.9 million adults in Britain use e-cigarettes - also known as vaping.
The main difference between e-cigarettes and smoking tobacco is that there is no combustion (burning) involved with e-cigarettes. It is the burning of tobacco and 4,000 chemicals in a conventional cigarette that causes preventable health related disease and death.
Public Health England has stated that using e-cigarettes is about 95% less harmful to your health than smoking cigarettes. E-cigarettes aren’t completely risk free, but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes.
There is no evidence of harm to bystanders from exposure to second hand e-cigarette vapour and any potential risks are likely to be extremely low. Health Professionals agree that the harmful side of smoking is reduced if you make the ‘switch’.
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In an emergency
C&I has moved the service we normally offer in emergency departments to our 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service, at St Pancras Hospital. The service will see people in need of urgent care so that they do not have to go to a hospital emergency department unless they have an urgent medical need. Emergency departments are under unprecedented pressure due to COVID-19 – the illness caused by coronavirus. We are urging people in mental health crisis to telephone our 24/7 crisis line on 020 3317 6333 or contact their usual community mental health team. If service users attend the 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service in person we will see you but we urge you to contact the crisis line in advance for advice to ensure you are only leaving home when absolutely necessary.