Tobacco is responsible for killing over 8 million people globally every year. It is also the leading cause of respiratory problems and severe disease. People who smoke not only risk their lives but also the people around them. A stat shows that 1.2 million people who die due to tobacco consumption are exposed to second-hand smoke. Now the main issue here is that the corona virus also causes respiratory problems and has direct affect on lungs of the body. Therefore people who smoke actually have a higher chance of getting severe with covid as compared to non-smokers. Let’s find out what are risks people have due to corona virus if they are indulged in tobacco consumption.
Does Smoking Increase Risk of Corona?
Covid-19 virus attacks the lungs of the person which causes severe infection in that person. Our expert Dr. Rajesh Tripathi, M.D. Medicines at Suguna Hospital, Bengaluru answers this query. He told that corona virus affects the lungs of the person and causes infection in it which results in difficulty in breathing. Now the people who smoke already have tobacco accumulated in their lungs over time, which impairs the lung function so this can further cause shortness of breath to them. When the virus affects the lungs of such person the immune system is unable to fight and over time that person gets severe more quickly than any non-smoker.
Also since tobacco causes cardiovascular problems, cancer and other respiratory disease, the person has higher chances of getting a heart attack and major diseases causing death. Therefore people who smoke have higher chance of getting covid and lesser chances of surviving it.
What Are The Risks Of Tobacco During Covid?
World Health Organisation tells about the risk factors for people who consume tobacco in any form during this Covid Pandemic-
1. Tobacco consumption increases the risk of suffering from covid because tobacco already reduced the lung function and respiratory functions. Therefore the symptoms of corona virus may affect more on a person who smokes than a non-smoker. Being addicted to smoking can significantly increase your chances of ending up in an ICU if you get COVID. Patient who have a habit of smoking are more likely to be given a ventilator to recover because their respiratory functions fail to respond well.
2. It can lead to other diseases and infections such as-
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Smokers can be prone towards these diseases and can turn severe. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is often found as one of the factors in COVID-19 patients.
3. There are many such cases in which the major cause of patients having cardiovascular diseases and respiratory disorders was due to tobacco. The patients who used to smoke had cruder fatality rate than the normal ones as they suffered from diabetes, hypertension, and chronic respiratory disease more often. People with pre-existing medical condition are at higher risk of developing major covid symptoms and vulnerability to severe Covid-19. Smokers with a history of such diseases are definitely more vulnerable to corona virus.
4. Tobacco is the one of the major cause of lung cancer hence it is factor which causes serious risk of chronic pulmonary diseases. This disease causes swelling and rupturing of the air sacs present in the lungs. This results in reduction in the capacity to take in oxygen and breathe out carbon-dioxide. It builds up mucus which further results in painful coughing and breathing. Therefore smokers are at higher risk for this disease.
5. The virus can also affect smokers in a way that they can have underlying health condition of covid. The current ongoing corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) is originated from MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of them are associated to each other in a way that they can cause severe cardiovascular damage. There has also been significant evidence that the people who get serious with Covid often have cardiovascular problems. Therefore a weaker cardiovascular system like that of smokers can be a major threat to them in these times of COVID pandemic.
What Are The Types Of Smokers Who Are Most Affected?
People who smoke tobacco of any kind can be equally affected. It does not matter if you have one cigarette a day or a regular consumer. Corona virus may affect you in a similar way. It’s just that the chances of surviving would differ depending on the accumulation of tobacco in your lungs.
- Water Pipe (Hookah)
- Chewing tobacco
Consumers of all these types of products can be equally affected by corona virus which can definitely cause threat to your life.
Prevention For Smoking
Nicotine replacement therapies and products are available such as gum, patches which help to quit tobacco. You can also go for toll-free quit lines or texts which engross you in programs to help you quit tobacco. Quitting tobacco can drop the risk of elevated heart beat and blood pressure. It normalises your bloodstream carbon monoxide levels and decreases breath shortness or coughing.
Smoking can affect your health adversely but corona can cause a severe threat to your life in you smoke. Tobacco consumption reduces the lung function and is a cause to many cardiovascular and respiratory problems. These conditions get worse if you come in contact with corona virus. With increase in strain of Covid, it is more likely that you may come in contact with the virus. People who smoke can get severe symptoms and have lesser chance of surviving this pandemic. Any type of tobacco consumption can be very dangerous for your health in this time. So it is best to quit smoking and improve your immune system.
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