Smoking, Vaping & COVID-19
The Howard County Tobacco Prevention and Control Program provides education and assistance to local individuals and groups regarding tobacco use, prevention and cessation.
- The CDC has identified smokers as a group of people at higher risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19.
- People who smoke were 2.4 times more likely to have severe symptoms from COVID-19 compared to those who did not smoke.
- Research from Stanford University shows teens and young adults who have vaped may be up to five times more likely to test positive for the virus than their non-vaping peers
Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs) and Vaping in Youth and Young Adults
What you should know:
- Electronic cigarettes – or e-cigarettes — are also called vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, and electronic smoking devices (ESDs).
- Using an e-cigarette product is commonly called vaping.
- E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.
Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs) have:
- Chemicals that can cause lung disease and possibly death
- Nicotine that is addictive and can damage the developing brain
- Liquids that can contain: THC and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives.
E-Cigarette Vaping-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)
- As of February 2020, a total of 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).
- Note: Since the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic, the reporting and tracking of EVALI cases and deaths have been suspended.
- EVALI symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms, including: Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.
- If you have recently used an e-cigarette or vaping product and you have any symptoms above, please see a healthcare provider.
- CDC and FDA recommend that people not use THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly from informal sources like friends, family, or in-person or online dealers.
- Vitamin E acetate should not be added to any e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
- If you are an adult who used e-cigarettes to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes, weigh all available information and consider using FDA-approved smoking cessation medication.
- E-cigarette, or vaping, products (nicotine- or THC-containing) should never be used by youths, young adults, or women who are pregnant.
- Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens and Young Adults
- CDC - For the Public - What You Need to Know
- CDC - For Healthcare Providers
- Visit www.teenhealthmatters.org for information and resources
How to Quit
- Maryland Tobacco Quitline - 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) FREE help with quitting
- Howard County Health Department-Tobacco Education Programs - 410-313-6265
Tobacco Education Request
- Community members are invited to request tobacco education materials or a HCHD staff member to table during a community event, and/or a 30 to 60-minute presentation on current tobacco trends.
- The Community Health Education Request Form should be submitted at least 30 days before the event in order to be considered for HCHD to be onsite. Requests received after this time will receive educational materials in lieu of on-site participation.
- Community Health Education Request Form
Tobacco Retailer Education and Enforcement Compliance Checks
Opportunities to Get Involved
- Underage Tobacco Enforcement Investigators (UTEIs)
- UTEIs assist Howard County Enforcement Officers with tobacco retailer enforcement compliance checks in relation to Maryland retailer tobacco control laws and local tobacco laws in Howard County.
- UTEI recruitment is open August 1st – September 1st.
- For more information and/or to complete the UTEI application, click here.
Health Department Funding Opportunities
Tobacco, Diabetes, and Chronic Disease Grant Announcement Information