Smokers Getting Vaccine First is Making People Angry

Also Read: How to Treat Covid at Home

There is an understandable amount of consternation about decisions regarding the vaccine rollout. You can read all about them on social media. We can all agree smoking is a bad habit, and at least when someone starts smoking, it is a choice. Why are people who have made unhealthy choices getting the vaccine first?

The answer is simple. Efforts are being made to get the vaccine into the arms of the people who are at highest risk of getting very sick from the virus. Personally, I think teachers should be first in line, but back to school doesn’t seem to be a priority, no matter how¬†great the risks for kids who are staying home. But, after teachers, it makes perfect sense to give it to people who have serious risk factors. Firstly, it will keep people out of hospitals, and secondly, isn’t the fact that it kills people the whole reason we care about this virus at all?

The research available shows smokers have a significant increased chance of Covid complications, so while it may make you uncomfortable that people who have made a bad choice are getting priority, if the goal is decreased illness, it makes sense. We could argue that many of the other risk factors for severe illness are the result of poor choices. Chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension, while sometimes unavoidable, are often the result of lifestyle. Quitting smoking is hard. Losing weight is hard. For many, being healthy in America is hard. In time, everyone who wants the vaccine will be able to get it. In the meantime, let’s not play judge and jury on those who need the vaccine first.


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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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