It’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. And, when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, the side effects of smoking and the behaviors of people who smoke or vape could create a one-two punch.
Smoking injures the local defenses in the lungs by increasing mucus production and inflammation. And that’s why people who smoke are more likely to have serious respiratory infections and illnesses, such as influenza and pneumonia, according to Dr. J. Taylor Hays, director of Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center.
“And we know from the previous coronavirus outbreaks, especially the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) outbreak, that smokers were more susceptible to infection and more likely to get more serious infection,” says Dr. Hays. “I think the reasonable assumption is that because of those injuries to local defenses and the information we have from other respiratory infections, people who smoke will be at more risk for more serious COVID-19 infection and more likely to get even critical disease and have to be hospitalized.”
The social behavior of smoking and vaping also can increase the risk of spreading the virus, as people who smoke or vape oftentimes do so in groups. And the virus easily can be transmitted as a person picks up an object and then puts it near an unmasked face.
“Smoking, vaping, hand-to-mouth social behavior, probably not distanced, unmasked, and exhaling and inhaling deeply, creating an aerosol of droplets—those are all the ways that we know it gets spread. And, so, it’s very likely that people who are engaging in those behaviors are more likely to get the infection and spread it to others,” says Dr. Hays.
He says the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for people who smoke to recognize the serious health risks associated with the addiction and consider quitting. The best way to stop smoking is to talk to your health care provider, make a plan and stick to it, using many of the resources available, such as behavioral therapy and medications.
Follow the latest news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
©2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
The connection between smoking, COVID-19 (2020, December 3)
retrieved 3 December 2020
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
- COVID case rates hit new high for England, study finds - April 7, 2022
- Govt’s focus on affordable healthcare ensured significant savings for poor, middle class: PM Modi - April 7, 2022
- SRL Diagnostics and Skye Air Mobility collaborate to transport pathology samples using drone logistics - April 6, 2022
- Healthineers sets up new production line of CT scanners in Bengaluru under PLI scheme - April 6, 2022
- Lupin inks licensing pact with Alvion to market drugs in Southeast Asia - April 6, 2022
- Yoga Mahotsav: Ayush Ministry to organise event to demonstrate common yoga on World Health Day - April 6, 2022
- LordsMed forays into the medtech space with launch of health ATMs ‘Lords Sehat’ - April 5, 2022
- ‘Friendly viruses’ can be the next big thing in the history of medical research and more - April 5, 2022
- No setback to Bharat Biotech even as WHO suspends Covaxin UN supply: Sources - April 4, 2022
- Govt panel recommends Serum’s Covovax dose for kids aged 12 and above - April 4, 2022