[Updated April 3, 2020]

Resources from ASH

Resources on COVID-19

Resources on COVID-19 and Tobacco Use

Jurisdictions Removing Tobacco Products from “Essential Business” Distiction, in Turn Banning the Sale of Tobacco Products

  • India – Excluded products from essential items list, are not specified. Only included items are.  Tobacco products are not included here. In addition, two states, U.P. and Haryana have banned all smokeless tobacco products to prevent spitting during this COVID-19 period.
  • Israel – Government regulation included specific instructions on what would account for essential business that should stay open and what would define as essential products that could be sold. Tobacco and smoking products are not included. (Regulation in Hebrew; English translation of section on tobacco)
  • South Africa – Regulations as published under the Disaster Management Act for COVID-19 with amendments are found here. Cigarettes and tobacco products are not listed as an essential item.
  • Wisconsin, USA – Vape, smoking, and CBD shops must close, but sales can continue at other stores like grocery or gas stations as they are considered essential businesses. Read their FAQ here.

Note: We strongly recommend any government taking this action to also provide full access to cessation and cessation treatment.

Please email any updates/omissions to us at info@ash.org

Tips to Quit in Quarantine

Please pass this along to the smokers in your life.

As the world grapples with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), one risk factor that has not been covered widely in the media is smoking status. There’s little evidence that smokers are more likely to be infected by coronavirus. It is highly contagious for everyone. However, similar to people with diabetes or a history of lung or heart disease, smokers have a significantly higher risk of experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms if they do contract the virus. Like other groups with heightened risk, smokers should take extra precautions to avoid exposure, and if they experience symptoms, go to the doctor and get tested immediately.

In addition, the CDC recommends that those in higher risk groups should:

    • Stock up on supplies.
    • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
    • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
    • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
    • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
    • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

Even if there is no known outbreak near you, the CDC urges those over 80 to follow the last bullet and stay home as much as possible.

ASH is all about health for everyone. There’s no evidence that tobacco has anything to do with the advent or spread of the Coronavirus, but it does seem to compound the risk of serious ramifications to COVID-19 (the disease that results from infection by the Coronavirus). If you have loved ones that smoke, please ensure that they’re aware of the increased risk so that they can take extra precautions.

For free resources to quit smoking call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, visit smokefree.gov, or check out tips from Dr. Harry Lando on How to Quit in Quarantine here. Stay safe and healthy!

3 Responses