Smoking can make COVID-19 worse
We know that smoking is bad for our health. It can cause cancer. It can damage lungs. And it can increase the risk of having a heart attack, a stroke and many other illnesses. We know that vaping isn’t safe, either. But now that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a part of our lives, using tobacco can be even more harmful. Some research shows that smoking and vaping can make you more likely to get COVID-19. And if you do get it, your symptoms could be much worse.
Feeling anxious or depressed? Smoking doesn’t help
There are many reasons why people smoke or vape. One reason is that they think it can help them feel less stress or anxiety. And we are all feeling a lot more stressed these days! But the truth is, smoking and vaping can make stress and anxiety even worse, not better.
The good news: Help with quitting smoking is a covered
benefit through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP)
Your Columbia Pacific CCO benefits include help quitting smoking, and positive ways to help improve your mental health. Columbia Pacific CCO members have no out-of-pocket costs for covered services.
Start by making an appointment with your primary care provider (PCP). If you don’t have a PCP yet, find one here. Many providers are offering telehealth appointments during COVID-19, which means you can talk with them by phone or video, without leaving your home. Learn more about telehealth appointments.
You and your PCP can make a plan to help you stop smoking. You can also talk with them about nicotine gum or patches. There are even medications that may help reduce cravings.
Talk to them about how you’re feeling and ask for a depression screening. A screening can help your provider understand what kind of help is best for you. You can also make an appointment directly with a network mental health provider, without a referral. Many of them offer telehealth appointments, too. Find a mental health provider here.
Contact Quit for Life for more smoking help. This is a stop-smoking program of the American Cancer Society. Your benefits include two quit attempts with this program every 12 months. To reach them, call toll-free 866-QUIT-4-LIFE (866-784-8454). Spanish options are available. Or visit quitnow.net
Remember, we’re here to help
Helping you be healthier, physically and mentally, is our goal! If you need help or have any questions, please get in touch with us. Call us toll-free at 855-722-8206, TTY 711. You can also send us a secure message through our member portal at colpachealth.org/portal
More helpful resources
Coronavirus: Smoking, Vaping, Wildfire Smoke and Air Pollution
Stress and Smoking
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Screening for depression