Smoking and Influenza*

If you are thinking about quitting smoking - why is today the time to take the appropriate steps to do so?

  • Influenza is a respiratory disease
  • Some research studies show an increase in influenza infections among smokers compared to nonsmokers.
  • There is a higher mortality rate for smokers than nonsmokers from influenza

Additional respiratory health consequences:

  • Smoking is related to chronic coughing and wheezing among adults and children and chronic bronchitis and emphysema among adults.
  • Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have upper and lower respiratory tract infections, including influenza, perhaps because smoking suppresses immune function.
Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years.

Smoking Cessation:

  • Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and reducing the general and respiratory health of smokers.
  • Quitting smoking has immediate, as well as long-term health benefits.
  • Telephone counseling by trained health professionals increases the chances of successful quitting. Nicotine replacement products and certain other medications also increase the chance that people can successfully quit.
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for:
  • A free personal quit plan from an experienced Quit Coach
  • A supply of free nicotine patches

To successfully quit smoking, start with the following steps:

  • Call 1-800-QUITNOW to learn new skills and behaviors to deal with situations when you want to smoke.
  • Get ready and set a quit date.
  • Get support and encouragement from family and friends.
  • Get medication and use it correctly.

What other things can I do to prevent getting the flu or passing it on to others?

  • Get a flu shot (available October - February)
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Wash your hands fequently throughout the day
  • Eat nutritious food
  • Get adequate sleep

Visit www.coquitline.org for more information on how to quit tobacco or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW

Visit www.larimer.org/health for more information on seasonal flu and flu vaccinations.

*Information adapted from Centers for Disease Control website.