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Smoke? Cut or Quit! Otherwise You are at risk of fatal COVID-19

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

24th Mar, 2020. 10:14 am
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If you smoke, then this will be an eye opening story for you as the leading health experts have warned that the smokers are likely at risk of more severe coronavirus.

This will be a good time to try to cut or quit!

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 said smokers are likely at increased risk of more severe COVID-19.

“There’s not very much data at this point on COVID-19 in smokers, but we do know from reports from China, those who smoke seem to be over-represented in groups of people who have severe or critical COVID-19,”

Increasing evidence is suggesting that smokers are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 than those who don’t smoke.

One study shows that of 173 patients who had severe symptoms, 16.9% of them current smokers and 5.2% had previously smoked.

Among the patients with less-severe symptoms, 11.8% were current those who smoke and 1.3% former.

The study showed that in a group of patients that either needed mechanical ventilation, admission to an intensive care unit, or ultimately died, 25.5% were current those who smoke , which was more than twice the rate of current smokers in a group of patients that did not have these severe adverse outcomes.

“These observations about more severe illness in smokers vs people who have never smoked seems to parallel what is seen in respiratory viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus and seasonal influenza, where those who smoke tend to do worse than non-smokers,” said Hays, also mentioning that no data is currently available on people who vape or use e-cigarettes.

“We know that inhalation of combustible tobacco of any sort seems to be associated with more severe disease from respiratory viruses,” he added.

Studying other coronavirus outbreaks provides further suggestions that smokers may fare worse with these types of viral infections than non-smokers.

There are, well-proven reasons for smokers to be concerned about their risk of severe or fatal COVID-19.

“Smoking also causes inflammation in the airways, which is made worse with respiratory illnesses,” said Hays.

“People who quit for even a short time see an improvement in lung health quite quickly.”

“For most smokers who don’t already have serious lung injury, they will see immediate improvements in their health, and less opportunity for severe diseases including COVID-19,”

“People could look at this as an opportunity – a time of crisis is a time of opportunity. If looking for an opportunity to quit, this is it,” he added.

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