Smoking is a major risk factor for respiratory infections and increases the Severity of ‘Covid 19’ infections causing many Deaths
Hyderabad, 31st May, 2021: “The risk of severe infection, requirements of ventilatory support and death are doubled in patients who are active smokers. Smoking causes more deaths in covid 19 infections. In the absence of proper treatment for covid-19 infection, smoking remains a detrimental factor in the outcome”, says Dr. Devender Singh, Senior Vascular Surgeon, Yashoda hospitals, Somajiguda Hyderabad on the occasion of “World No Tobacco Day” today.
Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases. Numerous studies revealed that active smoking and a history of smoking are significantly associated with increased COVID-19 symptom severity, Says Dr. Devender Singh, Senior Vascular Surgeon
Tobacco smokers (cigarettes, bidis, cigars, waterpipes, heated tobacco products) may be more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, as the act of smoking involves contact of fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) with the lips, which increases the possibility of transmission of viruses from hand to mouth. COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronaviruses and other diseases. Tobacco is also a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which put people with these conditions at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19.
Available research suggests that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death. Within 20 minutes of quitting, elevated heart rate and blood pressure drop. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the bloodstream drops to normal. Within 2-12 weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases. After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
Nicotine replacement therapies, such as gum and patches are designed to help smokers quit tobacco.
Government recommends that smokers take immediate steps to quit by using proven methods such as toll-free quit lines, mobile text-messaging programmes, and nicotine replacement therapies. The SARS-COV-2 epidemic should serve as an impetus for patients and those at risk to maintain good health practices and discontinue smoking, says Dr. Devender Singh, Senior Vascular Surgeon Yashoda Hospitals, Somajiguda, Hyderabad.
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