Information from American Lung Association As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the U.S. and globally, the American Lung Association continues to publish updated guidance on the best ways to protect yourself and your family from the spread of bacteria and viruses—including the coronavirus. With coronavirus impacting lung function, our research and support of lung health is now more important than ever. The American Lung Association held their 5th annual LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day on March 25. This action was instrumental in passing a major tobacco control bill in the US House of Representatives. With the well documented negative impacts of tobacco use on health, especially lung function, it is now more important than ever to help regular tobacco users stop. How do you respond to these overlapping public health crises? What is the science-based approach for BrightView patients? Using an effective means to quit smoking is now more important than ever, given that the novel coronavirus infects the lungs. Recent studies have found that smokers are 1.4 times more likely to have severe symptoms of COVID19, and 2.4 times more likely to be admitted to an ICU and require mechanical ventilation, according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (link to the full study linking COVID-19 and smoking here). Another published study found that smokers who become infected by the novel coronavirus have a mortality rate that is 14 times higher than that among non-smokers. It is imperative that folks who can quit smoking do so, especially given the implications that continuing to smoke will have on their long-term health and short-term vulnerability to COVID19. (link to the full study and findings here) Therefore, it is a matter of public health that we advocate for smoking cessation immediately and for the foreseeable future. In response to these findings, Brightview, in collaboration with Interact for Health, has launched a Smoking Cessation Intervention program using an innovative digital platform for patients in treatment for substance use disorder. BrightView is recruiting 100 patients following IRB-approved (IRB ID: 7841-SRezania) consent to voluntarily participate. Each patient will be in the program for 4 months, with data analysis following the completion of the last patient’s data collection. The Smoking Cessation Intervention program is being led by BrightView’s Director of Clinical Research, Samin Rezania, Ph.D. The study will look at three metrics: 1) Smoking abstinence, 2) Increased medical and clinical attendance, and 3) Negative substance tests.
April 13, 2020