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Smoking: A Risk in the Time of COVID-19

By , | April 06, 2020

Smoking is a health hazard not just for those who smoke but also for those around them. When a person smokes, he places himself at risk for a variety of health conditions such as constricted blood vessels, high cholesterol, heart disease, compromised immune system, and lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung and other cancers.


Smoking is a health hazard not just for those who smoke but also for those around them. When a person smokes, he places himself at risk for a variety of health conditions such as constricted blood vessels, high cholesterol, heart disease, compromised immune system, and lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung and other cancers.

On the other hand, those who are surrounded by smokers are exposed to what we call secondhand smoke. Adults exposed to this kind of smoke are at risk of having nasal irritation, reproductive effect (low birth weight), respiratory diseases such as asthma and  lung cancer whereas children may develop middle ear disease, respiratory disease, and even possibly sudden infant death syndrome.

And at a time like this, with the coronavirus pandemic, smokers and even those exposed to secondhand smoke are at high-risk for trouble if they get COVID-19. They may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.

When a person’s lung function is compromised, it places him at risk of developing severe pulmonary complications if they get infected with COVID-19.

Information from China, where COVID-19 originated, shows that people who have cardiovascular and respiratory conditions caused by tobacco use, or otherwise, are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms [2]. Research on 55,924 laboratory confirmed cases in China shows that the crude fatality ratio for COVID-19 patients is much higher among those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory disease or cancer than those with no pre-existing chronic medical conditions [3]. This demonstrates that these pre-existing conditions may contribute to increasing the susceptibility of such individuals to Covid-19.

Smokers are also likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There are also smoking products such as water pipes that often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the spread of the virus in communal and social settings.

Will fear of the coronavirus help people quit cigarettes and stay off them? Maybe yes, maybe no. But what is important is for the smoker to start thinking about this habit and move towards smoking cessation. This will reduce a person’s risk in developing smoking-related health issues.

Quitting the habit is easier said than done. But with the help of treatments and resources for quitting, it can be achieved. In 2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more former smokers than current smokers which is a good start.

Smoking cessation programs are being offered in some health institutions like The Medical City (TMC). TMC offers START ANEW (Smoking & Tobacco Addiction and Relapse Therapy for a Nicontine-Free Way of Life) Program which aids smokers in becoming  and staying smoke-free, making them better prepared to deal with significant lifestyle changes. The program centers on education and motivation, providing individual counseling and psychosocial support groups to help smokers quit and maintain a non-smoking status for life.

There is no better time to quit smoking and the COVID-19 pandemic might actually provide the perfect reason for people to finally kick the habit.

For inquiries about The Medical City’s START ANEW Program, please call the Pulmonary Diagnostic and Therapeutic Center at 8-988-1000/8-988-7000 ext 6238.

 


 

References:

World Health Organization (WHO)

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

[W.-j. Guan, Z.-y. Ni, Y. Hu, W.-h. Liang, C.-q. Ou, J.-x. He, L. Liu, H. Shan, C.-l. Lei, D. S. Hui,
B. Du, L.-j. Li, G. Zeng, K.-Y. Yuen, R.-c. Chen, C.-l. Tang, T. Wang, P.-y. Chen, J. Xiang, S.-
y. Li, J.-l. Wang, Z.-j. Liang, Y.-x. Peng, L. Wei, Y. Liu, Y.-h. Hu, P. Peng, J.-m. Wang, J.-y.
Liu, Z. Chen, G. Li, Z.-j. Zheng, S.-q. Qiu, J. Luo, C.-j. Ye, S.-y. Zhu and N.-s. Zhong, “Clinical
Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China,” New England Journal of Medicine, 2020.
[3] World Health Organization, Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease
2019 (COVID-19), 14-20 Februray 2020., 2020.



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Smoking: A Risk in the Time of COVID-19

By ,

April 06, 2020


Smoking is a health hazard not just for those who smoke but also for those around them. When a person smokes, he places himself at risk for a variety of health conditions such as constricted blood vessels, high cholesterol, heart disease, compromised immune system, and lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung and other cancers.

Smoking is a health hazard not just for those who smoke but also for those around them. When a person smokes, he places himself at risk for a variety of health conditions such as constricted blood vessels, high cholesterol, heart disease, compromised immune system, and lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung and other cancers.

On the other hand, those who are surrounded by smokers are exposed to what we call secondhand smoke. Adults exposed to this kind of smoke are at risk of having nasal irritation, reproductive effect (low birth weight), respiratory diseases such as asthma and  lung cancer whereas children may develop middle ear disease, respiratory disease, and even possibly sudden infant death syndrome.

And at a time like this, with the coronavirus pandemic, smokers and even those exposed to secondhand smoke are at high-risk for trouble if they get COVID-19. They may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.

When a person’s lung function is compromised, it places him at risk of developing severe pulmonary complications if they get infected with COVID-19.

Information from China, where COVID-19 originated, shows that people who have cardiovascular and respiratory conditions caused by tobacco use, or otherwise, are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms [2]. Research on 55,924 laboratory confirmed cases in China shows that the crude fatality ratio for COVID-19 patients is much higher among those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory disease or cancer than those with no pre-existing chronic medical conditions [3]. This demonstrates that these pre-existing conditions may contribute to increasing the susceptibility of such individuals to Covid-19.

Smokers are also likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There are also smoking products such as water pipes that often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the spread of the virus in communal and social settings.

Will fear of the coronavirus help people quit cigarettes and stay off them? Maybe yes, maybe no. But what is important is for the smoker to start thinking about this habit and move towards smoking cessation. This will reduce a person’s risk in developing smoking-related health issues.

Quitting the habit is easier said than done. But with the help of treatments and resources for quitting, it can be achieved. In 2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more former smokers than current smokers which is a good start.

Smoking cessation programs are being offered in some health institutions like The Medical City (TMC). TMC offers START ANEW (Smoking & Tobacco Addiction and Relapse Therapy for a Nicontine-Free Way of Life) Program which aids smokers in becoming  and staying smoke-free, making them better prepared to deal with significant lifestyle changes. The program centers on education and motivation, providing individual counseling and psychosocial support groups to help smokers quit and maintain a non-smoking status for life.

There is no better time to quit smoking and the COVID-19 pandemic might actually provide the perfect reason for people to finally kick the habit.

For inquiries about The Medical City’s START ANEW Program, please call the Pulmonary Diagnostic and Therapeutic Center at 8-988-1000/8-988-7000 ext 6238.

 


 

References:

World Health Organization (WHO)

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

[W.-j. Guan, Z.-y. Ni, Y. Hu, W.-h. Liang, C.-q. Ou, J.-x. He, L. Liu, H. Shan, C.-l. Lei, D. S. Hui,
B. Du, L.-j. Li, G. Zeng, K.-Y. Yuen, R.-c. Chen, C.-l. Tang, T. Wang, P.-y. Chen, J. Xiang, S.-
y. Li, J.-l. Wang, Z.-j. Liang, Y.-x. Peng, L. Wei, Y. Liu, Y.-h. Hu, P. Peng, J.-m. Wang, J.-y.
Liu, Z. Chen, G. Li, Z.-j. Zheng, S.-q. Qiu, J. Luo, C.-j. Ye, S.-y. Zhu and N.-s. Zhong, “Clinical
Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China,” New England Journal of Medicine, 2020.
[3] World Health Organization, Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease
2019 (COVID-19), 14-20 Februray 2020., 2020.


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