Curb tobacco, vape use

The American Heart Association is deeply concerned about the public health crisis facing our country. Our top priority regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) is the health and well-being of all individuals and their families today and in the future, in every community, everywhere. This virus is impacting everyone regardless of race, religion, age and gender.

As a cardiologist and president of the American Heart Association Board of Directors in New Hampshire, I have been educating youth on dangers of tobacco use and advocating for public policies to reduce youth use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. At no time has it been clearer, New Hampshire needs to take steps to keep residents healthy now and into the future.

If you smoke, you are likely more vulnerable to severe and potentially life-threatening cases of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. Based on what we know today, it is reasonable to suspect that if you use e-cigarettes (i.e. vape), you are putting yourself at increased risk of getting a severe case of the disease.

Public health policies including raising the age for tobacco sales to 21, eliminating the sales of flavored tobacco products, and investing in public prevention and cessation programs, help keep kids off tobacco and help tobacco users quit using evidence-based cessation methods.

For information on heart and brain health regarding COVID-19: www.heart.org/coronavirus.