COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses.
If you aren’t ready to quit, you can still reduce your risk
Even before coming to this article, you probably already knew that quitting is the most effective way to reduce smoking-related risks. While that’s still true, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things you can do to reduce some potential harms.
If you smoke cannabis
As with nicotine and tobacco, cutting back on the amount you smoke is a wise move.
A few other pointers:
- Consider alternative methods. If you smoke weed pretty regularly, now might be a good time to switch to edibles or oil (and if there was ever a time to try your hand at making your own edibles, this just might be it).
- Take shallow inhales. Inhaling deeply and holding the smoke in, which people tend to do when smoking cannabis, can have even more of a negative impact on your lungs. Reduce this risk by taking more shallow breaths and letting the smoke out sooner.
- Practice physical distancing. Yep, those guidelines apply here, too. Avoid smoking around others, as exhaling or coughing could spread virus droplets.
- Limit dispensary trips. If possible, try getting your supply delivered so you don’t have to go out. Whether you get it delivered or pick it up locally, it’s wise to stock up on a few weeks’ worth of supply so you don’t put yourself (or others) at risk by going out to purchase more.
Tips for everyone on Covid-19
These practices can help reduce COVID-19 risk overall:
- Disinfect. Take care to wash and sanitize smoking equipment, like vape devices, pipes, and bongs. It doesn’t hurt to disinfect the packaging of any products you purchase, either.
- Wash your hands. The act of smoking or vaping inevitably involves some mouth-to-hand contact. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after.
- Don’t share. We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Don’t share pipes, vape pens, joints, or anything else that’s been in your mouth.
- Don’t skimp on the rest of your health. Healthy bodies have an easier time fighting off infections, so boost your immune system with self-care. Aim for 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night, eat balanced meals, stay hydrated, and make time for exercise. While these won’t totally offset the effects of smoking, they’ll give your body a better chance of defending itself.