Dear Editor:

The Centers for Disease Control says those who have serious underlying medical conditions -- including a compromised immune system -- might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and it lists smoking among the conditions that can make someone immunocompromised.

The smoking rate in San Bernardino County is 14.4 percent, higher than the state average smoking rate of 11.7 percent, accordingly to the California Department of Public Health’s 2019 data.

Now may be a good time to quit smoking. Chances of successfully quitting increase with help. The California Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-662-8887) is providing free nicotine patches.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is providing health education and resources to support people living tobacco-free lives and improving health equity in three counties: San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial.

ACS CAN is partnering with community agencies to help with smoking prevention efforts, including advocating for city-wide smoke-free policies for apartments and smoke-free policies for outdoor areas and community colleges.

This crisis might provide people motivation to quit and we should do everything we can to help those who choose to quit to succeed.

Brandy Segal, VIVE Volunteer

Fontana

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