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How Does Smoking Increase The Risk Of COVID-19?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Introduction 

COVID-19 has turned people’s attention more towards their health. However, there were some aspects like smoking that people were unaware of while taking care of themselves. Some conflicting articles speculated on the smoker’s risk of COVID-19.


In addition, some even highlighted the risk of smoking in this pandemic. Initially, WHO reported that smoking amplifies the risk of contracting COVID-19. However, instead of all these contradictions, the researchers are still busy finding the conclusion to this evidence.

Data from 6,717 suggests that, Adults who received hospital care for COVID-19, researchers found adults who used tobacco or electronic cigarettes were more likely to experience severe complications compared to non-smokers. Based on these data, they found adults who smoked had a 15% greater chance of requiring mechanical ventilation and a 41% greater chance of death compared to non-smokers.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Smoking and COVID-19

Smoking increases health hazards during the pandemic. There were many warnings by the medical teams about how smoking and COVID-19 are related. But, people considered smoking for coping with the mechanism of stress, pandemic anxiety and the lockdown. They found mental peace in smoking. 

But, many of them were unaware of the fact that smoking increases the risk of COVID-19. As a result, in fear of the COVID-19, many people have quit smoking, while some are still unable to process the fact that it might kill them. 

Health should be the topmost priority for everyone. So, the Indian medical experts were propagating the ill effects of smoking on people’s health. Even teenagers these days are addicted to smoking or vaping. So, it’s essential to understand the smoker’s risk of COVID-19.

It is a significant concern in the country as teenagers fail to understand the dangers associated with smoking. The TCH present in vapes and cigarettes is hazardous and can cause fatal lung disease. 

Read more about Vaping: Meaning, Risks and Truths You Must Know

Risks of smoking during the pandemic

Studies show that smokers are more vulnerable to the risk of contracting COVID-19. The Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued some dangers of smoking and tobacco usage during the pandemic. Smokers can make 50% more susceptible to the virus than normal people with these risks:

  • Smoking and lung function are inversely related to each other. Therefore, smoking reduces lung capacity that can lead to lung disease/infections.
  • Cigarettes may drive up the chances of transmitting the virus from their hand to their mouth more easily.
  • It is often seen that smoking increases the risk of being infected with viral pneumonia.
  • Smoking greatly impacts lung health, thus making them more prone to respiratory disorders. We know that people who suffer from respiratory disease should take more precautions from the COVID-19 as their immunity power becomes significantly low.
  • People who smoke do not know the transmission of COVID-19 through pipes, vapes and cigarettes. It may happen that a person who used it before was infected from COVID-19. So, the transmission of the virus will then take place from him to you. This transmission increases the chance of COVID-19 even more. 

One must understand the grave danger of the points mentioned above to understand the smoker’s risk of COVID-19. 

Tobacco compromises lung function, and COVID-19 primarily affects the lungs, evidence indicates that smokers are more likely to suffer more severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as admission into intensive care units and death, than never-smokers.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

How were people able to quit their habit during the lockdown?

Many of the people got restricted from going out of their houses. This stopped them from buying cigarettes, vapes or any tobacco products. Staying home makes it easier to quit smoking or tobacco.

Lockdowns also improved family support. They may prove to be of tremendous help to help people quit smoking. Family members help them to resist smoking and motivate them to get rid of this habit. Once you understand how smoking and lung functions are related and affect your health, it adds as a motivation to quit and opt for a better life. 

People get adapted to smoking when they find it as a way to escape from reality. But, during the pandemic, these people took mental health support. The support team takes care of their mental health. Thus, people got detached from smoking or consuming tobacco. 

Quit it easy 

Seeking professional help is always a good idea if you want to quit smoking. A psychiatrist can help you develop insight and set realistic goals to help you quit smoking easily. If you are a heavy smoker and unable to quit the habit by motivation alone, your doctor may prescribe you some medicines available in the form of chewable gums and patches for a given period of time and reduce the dose gradually to ease the process of quitting smoke. It is important to be honest with your doctor and continue the follow up and treatment as advised.

Also Read: Does Vaping Cause Cancer? Exploring The Health Implications

Health hazards caused by smoking

  1. People who smoke have a higher chance of losing their eyesight over the age of 65.
  2. People with type-2 diabetes are affected because of smoking. In this case, poor blood flows to the legs and feet that can cause you to lose them.
  3. Male sexual functions get affected due to smoking. For example, it causes erectile dysfunction in them.
  4. Women who smoke can undergo Ectopic pregnancy. This type of pregnancy is a risk to the life of mothers as it can cause them death.
  5. Smokers have a low bone density. As a result, it can cause fractures more often in the body of people.
  6. Smoking has been a cause of colorectal cancer in the intestines. This type of cancer can prove to be fatal. 

Read more about Does Vaping Cause Cancer? Exploring The Health Implications

Conclusion 

Smoking has never been a health concern for many people. However, whether it is during the pandemic or not, smoking is always harmful to our health. Smoking not only increases the risks of infection for the smoker but passive smokers as well. Seek social support and stay connected with your family. Talking to people will help you lower the stress and anxiety in your mind.

Quitting smoke has always been a tough job for any person. In this case, it is necessary to set goals as to when to smoke. Keep decreasing the number of cigarettes day by day. Stop looking towards it as the only factor to keep you happy. Instead, look around and get addicted to some of your favourite hobbies. Keeping yourself busy in other activities will divert your mind from smoking and give you the will to be happy by yourself. We must take as many precautionary steps and try our best to avoid an increased risk of infection. 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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