Lung Health Has Never Been More Important
Richland County public health officials urge people who smoke and vape to quit today
April 15, 2020 | View PDF
Richland County, MT – In this time of uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is certain, lung health has never been more important. Now is the time to quit smoking and vaping and Montana has free resources to help.
COVID-19 is a new disease that attacks the lungs. People of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Some of the higher risk populations are people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, people who have serious heart conditions, and people who are immunocompromised.
Matthew Myers, president, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said, “We all know the impact of smoking on the lungs. There is conclusive evidence that smoking increases the risk for respiratory infections, weakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and diabetes. More recently, the science community has a growing body of evidence showing that vaping can also harm lung health.”
“If you smoke or use e-cigarettes/vaping devices, now is the time to quit. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body starts to heal itself,” says Richland County Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Jacklyn Damm. Two weeks to three months after quitting smoking, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve. As early as one month after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Quitting is one of the best things you can do for your own health and the health of those around you.
Not sure how to quit? The Montana Tobacco Quit Line can help. It is a free service for all Montanans with free personalized coaching and eight weeks of free Nicotine Replacement Therapy. There are three special programs within the Montana Tobacco Quit Line. First is the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line that connects callers with American Indian coaches. Call 1-855-372-0037 to connect with a Native coach. The Quit Now Montana Pregnancy Program connects pregnant women with a dedicated female coach as well as offers cash incentives with each completed coaching call. The newest program, My Life, My Quit, is for Montana youth looking to quit any form of tobacco including vaping. Visit mylifemyquit.com to enroll or text “start my quit” to 1-855-891-9989.
“Quitting tobacco can be the most important thing you do for your health,” adds Jacklyn Damm. The Montana Tobacco Quit Line, along with FDA-approved cessation medications available through enrollment, is a proven effective way to help you quit tobacco use successfully. Tobacco users who use the Montana Tobacco Quit Line are 7 - 10 times more likely to quit than if they were to try alone.
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit quitnowmontana.com today.