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COVID-19 and Smoking

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Scientific Briefs on COVID-19 and Smoking

Between May 2020 and August 2021, The Union’s Tobacco Control Department produced a "living," regularly revised master brief and ten shorter scientific briefs on COVID-19 and smoking. The master brief answers key questions about COVID-19 and smoking; it also delineates three critical stages along the COVID-19 disease spectrum and explains where evidence stands at various points on the disease spectrum. The ten shorter briefs offer deeper dives on specific publications, enumerating key findings and study flaws. After nearly sixteen months, the team determined that there was sufficient evidence on smoking and severe COVID-19 disease progression–smokers are more likely to experience extreme disease outcomes–and determined that the 10th brief would be the final one.

The Union's scientific brief on COVID-19 and smoking: updated 17 August 2021 | English | Spanish

COVID-19 and smoking: 1 March 2021 - 18 August 2021

Previous briefs

COVID-19 and smoking: 21 December 2020 - 1 March 2021

COVID-19 and smoking: 1 October 2020 - 21 December 2020

COVID-19 and smoking: 1 September 2020 - 1 October 2020

COVID-19 and smoking: 5 August 2020 - 1 September 2020

COVID-19 and smoking: 17 July 2020 - 5 August 2020

COVID-19 and smoking: 29 June 2020 - 17 July 2020

COVID-19 and smoking: 1 June 2020 - 29 June 2020

COVID-19 and smoking: 18 May 2020 - 1 June 2020

STOP's COVID-19 tobacco industry monitoring brief

STOP, the tobacco industry watchdog of which The Union is a partner, has been producing a regular COVID-19 Monitoring Brief which details the trends and patterns of tobacco industry behaviour as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information for these briefs was identified through STOP’s monitoring network.

Read STOP's COVID-19 tobacco industry monitoring briefs 

Other Resources on COVID-19 and Tobacco

COVID-19 and Smoking: Frequently Asked Questions

Download COVID-19 and Smoking: FAQs version 3 in Englishfrançais (French)español (Spanish)русский (Russian)polski (Polish)日本語 (Japanese) and 中文 (Chinese - Mandarin). The Union is grateful for the Japanese translation, which has been provided in-kind by the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA), who are Union Heritage Members.

Deadly Partners - Tobacco and COVID-19: A call to action for governments

Union paper on COVID-19 and its association with NCDs, tobacco use, smoking and vaping, with urgent actions for governments in EnglishFrenchSpanishChinesePortugueseBahasa Indonesian, and Burmese.

The Union’s brief on financing public health preparedness for pandemics

COVID-19 is having a profound effect on public health, public health systems and economies. This Union brief recommends that countries raise tobacco tax in order to fund public health and emergency response systems, and to reduce tobacco use. Download in English. You can also download the previous version in Spanish and Portuguese.

Guidance for healthcare workers on tobacco use and COVID-19

Issued by The Union and partners in EnglishFrenchSpanish and Portuguese

APCAT Tobacco and COVID Information

Asia Pacific Cities Alliance for Tobacco Control and NCDs Prevention (APCAT), for which The Union is the secretariat, has issued the following guidance on COVID-19, including the role of Mayors and Members of Parliament throughout the crisis and lessons from Singapore. Download the document in English.

Unmasking the Tobacco Industry in Latin America: How You Intensify Your Marketing Strategies in Time of COVID-19

Civil society organizations, including The Union, from six Latin American countries, monitored the marketing and advertising actions of the tobacco industry, manufacturers of e-cigarettes and vaping shops during COVID-19 lockdowns. A report was issued in Spanish.

More information on COVID-19 and lung health can be found here.