Smoking and coronavirus COVID-19
Smoking and coronavirus COVID-19 are not a good combination. 🦠
While there is not enough data to be certain that smokers have a higher risk of being infected with coronavirus, there is evidence that smokers who are affected by COVID-19 tend to have more severe reactions than non-smokers.
Impaired immune systems, weakened lung capacity and poor breathing are common issues for smokers that can be made worse as the virus attacks the airway and lungs. Smoking also increases contact between hands and face which is a known method of transferring the virus.
The positive is that your immune system and breathing improve quickly after you quit smoking. If you have been thinking about quitting smoking, this may be the right time.
All about smoking and coronavirus COVID-19
Is coronavirus more dangerous for smokers?
Studies show that the risk of being seriously affected by COVID-19 is significantly greater for smokers. 🚬
In both China and Italy, men have been more susceptible than women. One reason may be that smoking rates in those countries are also much higher for men than for women.
While there is no definitive evidence that smokers are at increased risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus, there are clear indications that the effects of COVID-19 are worse for smokers who have an already compromised immune system or pre-existing respiratory problems.
Is coronavirus more dangerous for former smokers?
There are no studies that conclude that former smokers are at greater risk of contracting or being seriously affected by COVID-19. However, smoking damages the lungs and some of that damage can be long-lasting or even permanent. This may increase the risk associated with COVID-19, but in all likelihood the risk is lower than that of current smokers.
Smoking lowers the immune system
Smoking depresses the immune system. This means that smokers can become more susceptible to illnesses and are at greater risk of being seriously affected. This risk may include:
- Higher risk of many viruses, influenza and pneumonia.
- Higher risk of more serious symptoms and more long-term illnesses.
Coronavirus and the immune system
Studies show that a contributing factor for those most severely affected by coronavirus is a weakened immune system. An impaired immune system may be caused by many reasons: age, underlying disease, genetics or lifestyle. To improve your immune system you can:
- Stop Smoking - The immune system gets stronger within days after you quit smoking
- Exercise Regularly - Exercise has been proven to have a positive effect on the immune system
- Sleep - By sleeping enough (usually between 7-9 hours a night), you keep your immune system well rested
- Eat Right - A healthy, varied diet fuels your immune system
- Drink Less Alcohol - Alcohol has a negative effect on your immune system
- Reduce Stress - High stress can have a negative effect on your immune system. Try to find soothing activities that can help you stay calm
If you follow these tips, you will improve your immune system and overall health – increasing your chances of fighting off viruses. Of course, remember to follow current rules and official recommendations regarding contact with other people and personal hygiene.
If you experience symptoms or if you are exposed to someone who is ill, you should consult your local healthcare professional.
Smoking and the respiratory system
Smoking has a negative impact on breathing and overall respiratory health. 😷
- Causes irritation in the trachea (windpipe)
- Creates shortness of breath due to swelling and narrowing of the airways of the lung and mucus accumulating in the lung ducts
- Decreases the efficiency of the lung’s purification system, so more toxins remain, causing lung irritation and potential damage
- Increases risk of lung infection, resulting in coughing and wheezing
Coronavirus and the respiratory system
Once active in the body, COVID-19 multiplies and infects adjacent cells. Most often, symptoms start at the back of the throat with a sore throat and dry cough. The virus can then migrate into the lungs and infect the mucus membranes. This damages the lungs and forces them to work harder to supply oxygen to the blood.
- Initial symptoms tend to be dry cough or sore throat
- Once in the lungs, it becomes more difficult to breathe as the mucous membranes swell
- Lungs may become filled with fluid and dead cells, leading to pneumonia
Smoking and high blood pressure
When you smoke, your blood pressure increases temporarily and you increase the likelihood of having plaque in your arteries. 🩸
While there is no clear evidence that smoking permanently increases blood pressure, smokers have a significantly higher risk of stroke or heart attack, which are both associated with high blood pressure.
Is coronavirus more dangerous if you have high blood pressure?
Studies have shown that patients with high blood pressure have more severe symptoms than patients who don’t suffer from high blood pressure.
Is coronavirus more dangerous if you smoke e-cigarettes or vape
While e-cigarettes may be safer then smoking, there are studies showing that e-cigarettes also damage the lungs, which may increase the risks associated with coronavirus. 💨
However, there are no studies specifically focusing on coronavirus and vaping.
Is corona more dangerous if you use snus?
Snus, with or without tobacco, does not affect the lungs in the same way as cigarettes, but it is still not good for the body. Using snus increases the strain on the heart, which may impair the body’s ability to fight an infection. In addition, frequent hand to mouth contact increases the likelihood of transferring the virus.
Do you want to stop smoking?