Americans have been smoking less and less for years—that is, until social distancing pushed many to take up or increase the habit, according to data from Altria Group Inc., which owns the Marlboro cigarette brand. Sales were flat in 2020 after falling annually 5.5% the previous year, a slide that started years earlier thanks in part to steep taxes on cigarettes and the growing popularity of vaping devices, including e-cigarettes. This reversal comes at a very bad time for smokers, as new data published in JAMA Internal Medicine show there’s a dose-dependent relationship between how much a person has smoked in their lifetime and the likelihood that they will face hospitalization or death if they contract COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed smokers among the most at-risk populations for severe disease since the pandemic began. It’s likely that urgent care workers are among those who have either gone back to or increased their smoking habits. As such, this would be a good time to offer your support in helping them quit. JUCM published an article that could be helpful in this regard; you can read Smoking Cessation: The Time to Address Employee Smoking Is Now online now.
Advise Patients: A Worldwide Respiratory Pandemic is a Bad Time to Start Smoking Again