Inaugural Love Your Lungs event kicks off Lung Cancer Awareness Month

New warnings about lung health during COVID and why health disparities are leading to worse outcomes

(SACRAMENTO) — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, keeping your lungs healthy has never been more important. One of the best steps you can take is to give up tobacco products, which can put people who get COVID-19 at risk for complications. For some people, quitting smoking can be challenging, and health disparities play a major role.

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COVID-19 and tobacco = trouble

In a first for our area, health care leaders are teaming up for a free, virtual, public event called Love Your Lungs on Nov. 5 from 1-4 p.m. Learn more and register for Love Your Lungs here

UC Davis Health lung experts and others in the Greater Sacramento health care community will discuss topics including COVID-19 and the historical context of racism, trauma, poverty and the Black experience in America, with an emphasis on why Black people smoke and have poorer smoking-related health outcomes.

Now is a critical time to stop using tobacco products. The California Department of Public Health says people who smoke or vape may be at increased risk from COVID-19 and may have worse outcomes after getting the coronavirus.

Adding to these concerns, youth e-cigarette use remains at epidemic levels. More than 3.6 million youth in the U.S. vape, including one in five high school students. Life-threatening lung illnesses caused by e-cigarette use were on the rise before the pandemic and continue to send patients to emergency departments.

Love Your Lungs speakers

The keynote speaker for Love Your Lungs is Sacramento County Public Health Officer Olivia Kasirye, M.D.

Moon Chen, professor and associate director for population sciences & community outreach/engagement at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, will kick off the event.

Other UC Davis Health speakers include: