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Hyderabad: Smokers at higher risk of COVID-19

Hyderabad: Smokers at higher risk of COVID-19
Highlights

• There is growing evidence that people who smoke tobacco are more likely to have severe complications if they do get infected with COVID-19 • It has ...

• There is growing evidence that people who smoke tobacco are more likely to have severe complications if they do get infected with COVID-19

• It has been found that those with a history of smoking are 14 times more likely to develop pneumonia than non-smokers

Hyderabad: There is an overwhelming evidence that people who smoke are at higher risk of getting lung and chest infections, which can be caused by other respiratory viruses (such as influenza) and also bacteria (for instance, tuberculosis). It is more likely that people who smoke have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 compared to people who don't smoke.

Lungs naturally produce mucus but people who smoke have more and thicker mucus that is hard to clean out of the lungs. This mucus clogs the lungs and is prone to becoming infected. Smoking also affects the immune system, making it harder to fight infection.

Dr A Srikanth, Secretary of Indian Dental Association, Deccan Branch, says, "We do know that exposure to second-hand smoke also damages lungs and depresses the immune system, increasing susceptibility to chest and respiratory infections. It is very important that people who smoke don't do it in presence of a non-smoker. People are indoors mostly these days and chances are there they might want to smoke in front of a family member, especially kids putting them at higher risk of getting COVID-19"

There is growing evidence that people who smoke tobacco are more likely to have severe complications if they do become infected with COVID-19.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Deputy Director, Center for Cancer Epidemiology at Tata Memorial Hospital, says, "The findings of a study published in the Chinese Medical Journal which undertook research among patients affected by the coronavirus. It found that those with a history of smoking were 14 times more likely to develop pneumonia than who did not smoke at all. Enforcement officers must ensure that the ban on sale of loose cigarette is immediately enforced."

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