While there is no definitive proof that smoking, either marijuana or tobacco, increases a person's chances of getting COVID-19, doctors and researchers say people who smoke could be at higher risk. The illnesses often associated with smokers affect many of the same major organs, especially the lungs, heart, and vascular system, as COVID-19.
So far, researchers have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between smoking and an increased risk of getting COVID-19 or dying from it. However, as more people get vaccinated, experts are studying what factors might make someone more likely to have a breakthrough case of COVID-19. New research shows smoking marijuana might be one of those factors.
Researchers looked at vaccinated people with and without a substance use disorder (SUD). The risk of a COVID-19 breakthrough infection among vaccinated people with a SUD was low overall, but it was higher than the risk for vaccinated people who did not have a SUD. The risk varied slightly among people with different substance use disorders but was highest for those with cannabis use disorder (CUD).
When researchers factored in other characteristics such as other health conditions and poor socioeconomic status, people with most substance use disorders no longer had elevated rates of breakthrough infections. The only exception were people with CUD even though those individuals tended to be younger and had fewer co-occurring health conditions than those having other substance use disorders.
COVID-19 Vaccination Information
Health officials continue to recommend all eligible people get vaccinated and boosted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and prevent people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying.
Due to the unpredictability of the virus, it is unknown when, or if, another variant may emerge and cause cases to rise again. For that reason, people who have not been vaccinated or completed their vaccine series should do so now.. Local health departments, health systems, and some pharmacies are currently authorized to administer vaccinations to individuals 6 months and older. Appointments are easier to schedule than ever, and some locations accept walk-ins.
The Kent County Health Department has COVID-19 vaccine appointments available at its Fuller, Sheldon, North, and
South Clinic locations.
To schedule, call 616-632-7200.
To find other vaccine locations, go to one of the following links:
The State of Michigan also maintains a COVID-19 Hotline to assist people in finding a vaccine location. For help call:
- 888-535-6136 (press 1)
- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday
- 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Saturday and Sunday
On September 12, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a COVID-19 vaccine updated for 2023-2024 for everyone aged 6 months and older to protect against serious illness.
Recommendations for Everyone Aged 5 Years and Older
Everyone aged 5 years and older should get 1 dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness. No one 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine is preferred over another.
Children aged 5-11 years who are not vaccinated or were vaccinated before September 12, 2023, should get 1 updated Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Those aged 12 years and older who are NOT vaccinated should get either:
- 1 updated Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, OR
- 2 doses of updated Novavax COVID-19 vaccine
Those aged 12 years and older who got COVID-19 vaccines before September 12, 2023, should get 1 updated Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
Recommendations for Children Aged 6 Months – 4 Years
Children aged 6 months – 4 years who are NOT vaccinated should get 2 or 3 doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine depending on which vaccine they receive.
Children aged 6 months – 4 years who were vaccinated before September 12, 2023, should get 1 or 2 doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine depending on which vaccine and the number of doses they previously received.
The original (monovalent) and bivalent Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are no longer recommended for use in the United States.
COVID-19 vaccine recommendations will continue to be updated as needed.
COVID-19 Testing Information
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested, even those who are fully vaccinated or have already had COVID-19. Testing is an important step to protect family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers and stop it from spreading.
If a person has symptoms, testing should be done immediately either with a PCR test or a self- test. A PCR test provides a more reliable negative test result. With a self-test, a positive result is reliable, but a negative test is not always accurate.
- If the self-test is negative, take another test within 48 hours or take a PCR test as soon as possible.
If a person does not have symptoms but has been exposed to COVID-19, wait at least five days after exposure before taking a test. A PCR test provides a more reliable negative test result. With a self-test, a positive result is reliable, but a negative test is not always accurate.
- If the self-test result is negative, take another test 48 hours after or take a PCR test as soon as possible.
- If the second self-test is also negative, wait another 48 hours and test a third time.
COVID-19 self-tests, also referred to as at home tests or over-the counter (OTC) tests, are one risk reduction measure, along with vaccination, that protect people by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.
Self-tests can be bought online or in most drug stores and retail stores. Private health insurance may reimburse the cost of buying self-tests. Visit the Food and Drug Administration's website for a list of authorized tests. Information on if the expiration date of expired self-tests has been extended can also be found on this website.
Community based testing sites such as drug stores or health clinics may offer low or no cost tests even for those who are uninsured.
The State of Michigan maintains a Michigan COVID-19 Test Finder website and a COVID-19 Hotline to assist people in finding a testing location.