.Letters to the Editor: No Butts

In the midst of so much disease and uncertainty, there is something that individuals can do to improve their own well-being, as well as their community’s health. There is no better time to quit smoking or vaping tobacco (or other substances) than during this pandemic.

Studies show that smoking and vaping compromise the immune system and weaken the lungs’ defenses. Sadly, for children and other vulnerable populations, exposure to secondhand smoking or vaping aerosols (including both nicotine and cannabis) increases the risk of respiratory diseases including Covid-19 and makes recovery more difficult.

Those sharing a household or an apartment wall with residents who smoke are also at higher risk. Luckily for smokers and vapers, plenty of free resources are available to help them quit.  Many people make health-related New Year’s Resolutions in January. If you know anyone struggling with this type of addiction, please share this with them.

The California Smokers’ Helpline (nobutts.org) offers personal support via phone and text, plus a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches, while supplies last. Also, the Smoke-Free Marin Coalition (smokefreemarin.com) is launching a county-wide campaign to help people quit smoking and vaping tobacco (and other substances) in the New Year.

Our Tackling Tobacco Team at San Rafael–based Bay Area Community Resources (bacr.org) supports individuals of all ages who want to quit and provides free resources, such as a new YouTube Channel created to help individuals quit during the pandemic.

Anita Renzetti

Project Director

Adult Cessation Services

Bay Area Community Resources

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