Smoking has long been established as a risk factor for respiratory disease and health officials are now reporting that smokers with COVID-19 are more likely to face serious complications. Recent studies have found that smokers with COVID-19 are 14 times more likely to need intensive care than non-smokers.
This has caused a surge in demand for smoking cessation products such as nicotine replacements and behavioral supports as people try to protect themselves and strengthen their lungs. Sales of nicotine replacement products increased by 54% in the third week of March and helplines have reported an increase in callers concerned about the coronavirus. Companies like Pivot and Quit Genius have responded to the growing interest by offering free trials of their coaching and support apps while Lucy, a seller of nicotine gum and lozenges, has seen sales rise by 75% in the past month.
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