Tobacco smoking is known to be a risk factor for acute respiratory infections. The World Health Organization has also identified it as a specific risk factor for Covid-19.In addition, we know that second-hand smoke increases the risk of acute respiratory infections.The World Health Organization urges people to stop smoking tobacco to minimize the risks associated with the current coronavirus pandemic in both people who smoke and those exposed to second-hand smoke.
For many people quitting isn’t easy; however, there are a number of reviews evaluating interventions to help people to stop smoking. Evidence suggests that people who smoke should use a combination of ‘stop smoking medicines’ and behavioral support to give them the best chances of success. Options for these may be more limited than usual at the current time, however there are still evidence-based ways available to help people succeed. Cochrane Tobacco Addiction has collated this Special Collection of the best available evidence to address this need during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Many reviews in the collection have associated Cochrane Clinical Answers.
This Special Collection includes Cochrane Reviews on the following topics: medication; behavioural support; and gradual quitting. Interventions that mimic the act of smoking, notably e-cigarettes, have been excluded from this collection as the risks associated with their use in relation to the current pandemic are not clear. Cochrane Tobacco Addiction are working to remain up to date on all the relevant information, to provide support to people attempting to stop smoking during this difficult time.