Okay we’re going to say it: There’s never a good time to be smoking and vaping. But during this pandemic, it’s REALLY not good to be engaging in those activities Why? Because smokers and vapers are more susceptible to lung infections and we know that COVID 19 is a respiratory illness. On top of that, recovery outcomes are worse for smokers/vapers who contract the coronavirus than for those who don’t smoke.
 
“It’s really vital that people know this information,” said Denise DePedro, NBC, HWC, a certified tobacco treatment specialist and health coach at The Outer Banks Hospital Center for Healthy Living. “Smokers and vapers are at higher risk not only because their immune system is compromised, but also because the mere act of touching a cigarette or vape pen and putting it up to your mouth is another opportunity for exposure to the virus.”
 
Because smoking and vaping increase the chances of contracting COVID-19 as well as the severity of the case, now is the time to make the effort to quit. “Based on our experience working with patients and helping them develop a personalized plan for quitting, we know that a change in routine can eliminate some of the triggers that move people to pick up a cigarette,” noted DePedro. “We’ve all had a dramatic change in our lives and our daily routines. This is a great time to establish new habits and eliminate those triggers.” Plus, many of us currently have the time to do the deep work necessary to make quitting a success.
 
The Outer Banks Hospital’s Center for Healthy Living has three tobacco treatment specialists (Marielle Silk, FNP, BC, Sarah Kershner, BSN, and DePedro) each of whom can assist with making a plan that works for each client ­— one that is based on each individual lifestyle. By teaching evidence-based strategies that include tobacco cessation medication and behavior changes, the chances of success are vastly increased for those who are ready to make the life change.
 
Call The Outer Banks Hospital Center for Healthy Living or ask your healthcare provider for a referral today. Let’s begin your journey to a smoke-free life.
 
Virtual visit appointments are available. Call 252-449-5978 today!

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