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Is a smoker at a higher risk of getting the COVID 19 virus than that of  a non smoker?

y

Currently, the covid 19 infectious disease has crossed millions of deaths worldwide that urged scientists and researchers globally to find the ultimate solution for the deadly infectious disease which is the vaccination programme. It is well known that some people are more vulnerable than the others to get the coronavirus infectious disease such as people with multiple medical comorbidities like having diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and high levels of cholesterol in the blood. This group of people also demonstrates severe symptoms of covid 19 infection compared to young patients.

Another question would be, are smokers included in the category of those more vulnerable in contracting the covid 19 virus? Continue reading the article to know more about the risks of a smoker in getting the infectious disease.

What are the risks of a smoker in contracting the covid 19 virus?

Definitely the risks of a smoker getting the covid 19 virus is higher compared to non smokers, however while writing this article, there were no any peer-reviewed journals or articles to prove the direct relationship between smoking and contracting the virus. However, the act of smoking itself can increase the transmission of the virus from one to another in several ways;

  1. Tobacco smokers which include smoking cigarettes, water pipes, cigars, bidis, and heated tobacco products are more vulnerable in contracting the covid 19 virus, as the act of smoking which involves the contact of contaminated fingers to the lips and mouth increases the chance of transmitting the virus.
  2. Other than that, smoking water pipes which is also popularly called shisha or hookah, involves the sharing of mouthpiece between peers and also drastically increases the chances of transmitting the virus to others.

Thus, in summary, currently there is no authentic research to prove the direct relationship between smoking and contracting the virus. However, the World Health Organization explained why smokers are more vulnerable through the act of smoking itself.

Do smokers are more likely to get severe symptoms?

The answer will be a yes. We all know that the coronavirus primarily affects the lungs than the other organs in the body. Smoking generally reduces the capacity of lungs and reduces the capability of lungs to fight against respiratory infections. The reduced lung capacity can cause patients to be in respiratory distress easier than the others as the lung tissues are damaged from all the dangerous chemical substances in the smoke.

Cigarette smoke induces a drastic modification to the epithelium lining the bronchus and the lung tissues leading to goblet cells metaplasia. Goblets cells are the main source of mucus and ACE2 which primarily acts as a host barrier to fight off against respiratory infections like the coronavirus infection.

What can you do as a smoker?

From the facts and information above, we all are aware that smokers are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus and to manifest severe symptoms of the deadly virus infections. There are several ways that you can follow to prevent the occurrence of severe signs and symptoms of the disease.

  1. Always protect yourself with proper equipment like masks to prevent the transmission of the virus. Apart from that, always practice social distance as a part of the norm as these 2 ways can always protect yourself and others from transmitting the virus through respiratory droplets.
  2. Practice quit smoking. This can be a great chance for you to quit smoking. Try to get help from a doctor on non pharmacological and pharmacological methods to quit smoking. This can protect people from your surroundings from the hazardous smoke as well.
Clare Louise

The author Clare Louise