UCI News

COVID won’t end up like the flu. it will be like smoking.

The Atlantic, Feb. 17, 2022

February 17, 2022

COVID won’t end up like the flu. it will be like smoking.

Choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID is, right now, a modifiable health risk on par with smoking, which kills more than 400,000 people each year in the United States. Andrew Noymer, a public health [associate] professor at UC Irvine, told me that if COVID continues to account for a few hundred thousand American deaths every year—“a realistic worst-case scenario,” he calls it—that would wipe out all of the life-expectancy gains we’ve accrued from the past two decades’ worth of smoking-prevention efforts.