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Are smokers at risk from COVID-19?

Date: 24 March 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Are smokers at higher risk from novel coronavirus? The answer is yes, according to health experts. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that smoking is one thing people should not do during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Background

It’s well-established that stopping smoking improves lung function within a few months. If you previously smoked and have now quit, it’s likely you’ll have a lower risk of severe complications than you would have if you were still smoking.

 

Details

  • Since the lungs and respiratory tract in smokers are already compromised to various extents, they are more prone to be severely infected by SARS CoV-2, which primarily attacks the respiratory system in human beings, and in severe cases leads to symptoms such as difficulty in breathing.

  • Chain smokers are psychologically dependent on smoking and consume one cigarette after the other. But the COVID-19 risk stands equally for both chain and occasional smokers.

  • Though COVID-19 is a new disease and the virus is still being studied but the fact remains that the family of coronaviruses attacks respiratory functioning in humans.

  • The WHO acknowledges that it is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis, but advises not to use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with one’s emotions.

  • Experts say smokers should stop smoking immediately, at least till the pandemic is over and the threat of catching the infection is looming large.