What is the effect of smoking on COVID19 infection?
Some experts say that smoking could make you more at risk of a severe infection with the new coronavirus COVID19.
European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) has included smokers among those possibly more open to the risk of COVID-19, along with patients above 70 years of age and people with pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.
Smokers have appeared to be more prone to breathing issues caused by the disease. “There is a long history of smokers having more severe respiratory illness in general and this is for a few well-established reasons. They clear mucus less efficiently, the cilia which gets infectious particles and secretions out of the lungs, work less efficiently. Smoking also causes inflammation in the airways, which is made worse with respiratory illnesses,” said J. Taylor Hays, M.D. Director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Smoking requires contact between hand and mouth, thus increasing the chances of COVID-19. Sharing the tobacco products also causes the infection to transfer from one person to another.
As you must have already read online, comorbidity is the major cause of deaths in COVID-19 infections. Comorbidity means the presence of one or more conditions co-occurring with the primary condition. So, deaths in the case of COVID-19 are not a direct result of the infection. But it brings down immunity which causes the underlying health conditions to act up and resulting in deaths.
When you smoke, your respiratory health, as well as your heart health, is at risk. Thus once you are infected by the coronavirus, it can also increase the death rate.
It has been observed that people who quit for even a short time see an improvement in lung health quite quickly. Smokers who don’t already have serious lung injury show immediate improvements in their health.
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