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What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a flu like virus. It causes an illness called COVID-19 which can affect your lungs and airways. For most people, the virus won’t cause serious problems. But for some people, the virus can have serious complications.

 

Smoking and coronavirus

Whilst there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that smokers are more likely to get COVID-19, we do know that they are at an increased risk of lung infections in general.

Many people who smoke already have poor lung health and have other chronic health conditions like heart disease, COPD and asthma associated with their history of smoking. These conditions put a person at an increased risk of developing serious infection and complications from COVID-19.

 

What’s the advice for people?

It’s important that you keep up to date with advice from SA Health via their website here: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019.

Some practical ways to limit your risks of exposure include:

  • Promote good hand and cough/sneeze hygiene and wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or if not immediately available use an alcohol-based hand rub. It’s a good idea to carry this with you. It is especially important to wash your hands before eating or drinking.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this can transfer the virus from surfaces and increase the risk of infection.
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick or unwell or have been exposed to the virus or may be at higher risk due to recent travel to a high risk country.
  • Maintain a 1.5 metre physical distance between yourself and others and avoid social habits such as kissing or handshakes.
  • Cancel non-essential gatherings, including those at home.
  • Clean and disinfect shared high-touch surfaces regularly.
  • Buy more goods and services online to limit your visits to the shops.
  • Increase the amount of fresh air by opening your windows or adjusting the air conditioning.
  • Hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call if possible.

If you develop symptoms within 14 days of last contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or returning to Australia, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor will tell you if you need to get tested.

 

Where can I get support to stop smoking?

Quitline will continue to support you via telephone and webchat. The counselling support service remains active and available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8.00pm and Saturdays 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Our friendly staff are here to be a part of your quit smoking journey during these difficult times. You can register for a call-back anytime at https://quitlinesa.org.au/request-a-callback/.

Support is also available through the “My QuitBuddy” app and “Quit for you, Quit for Two” app for pregnant mothers. These apps have great information around smoking and setting goals.