Are smokers more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19?

The covid 19 infection has created a wholesome fear among the world population and the death toll drastically increasing to millions. From the reported cases of covid 19 patients, most of them are categorized under the geriatric population with multiple underlying medical comorbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Apart from that, it is also said that smokers have higher risk of contracting the covid 19 virus compared to non-smokers. Is it true or just a myth?

Continue reading the article to know more about the relationship between smoking and contracting the covid 19 virus.

Is the risk higher than usual?

Yes, the risk for smokers to get the covid 19 virus is higher than non smokers. As we all know, the covid 19 virus is transmitted through mouth or nasal droplets from one person to another person. Thus, any contact from contaminated sources can increase the possibility of you contracting the virus. Here are some reasons why that is so?

  1. The act of smoking among tobacco smokers(cigarettes, water pipes, bidis, cigars and heated tobacco products) which involves using the fingers and a possibly contaminated cigarette to the lips, increases the chances of you getting the virus from hand to mouth.
  2. Smokers who use water pipes, or also known as shisha or hookah also possess higher risk as the sharing of hoses or mouth pieces increases the transmission of covid 19 virus in the community.

In conclusion, if you are a smoker, your chance of contracting the virus is higher compared to nonsmokers. This could be a good reason for you to quit smoking slowly. Try seek help from experts to aid you in quitting your smoking habit.

Are smokers more likely to get serious covid 19 symptoms?

Yes, smoking for a long period of duration reduces your lung capacity and its overall function to breathe and fight against respiratory infection. As we all know, the covid 19 virus primarily attacks the respiratory system which is the lungs. In smokers, your ability to fight off viruses is lower as most of the protective cells are destroyed by chemicals from the cigarettes leaving you to a more severe type of covid 19 infection.

What can you do if you’re a smoker?

The World Health Organization, in view of higher risk if contracting the virus among smokers, advises on quit smoking as the best method to reduce your chance of getting the covid 19 virus. Quitting will generally improve your body health especially the heart and lungs to function better and fight harder against the coronavirus if you are having one.

It is proven that within 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure will slowly drop to a normal acceptable level followed by reduction of carbon monoxide level in your bloodstream within 12 hours of quit smoking. Within 2 to 12 weeks, your blood circulation will start to improve slowly and retrieve back your normal function of lungs and its capacity. Subsequently, your symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath will slowly go off within 1 to 9 months of quitting. This will also protect your loved ones from the cigarette smoke which can also affect their physical and mental health.

Try to get an appointment from a doctor in any clinic or hospital where the doctor will fully assess your nicotine addiction level and suggest to you the best method to stop smoking. It could be either with medication such as nicotine replacement therapy or without medications. Either way, it requires you to be disciplined and consistent throughout the journey of quit smoking. Apart from that, also make sure you and your close ones are vaccinated with the covid 19 vaccine to keep yourself protected.