Tobacco and COVID-19

COVID-19 refers to the acute respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, of which symptoms include fever, tiredness, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Older people and those who have underlying medical conditions (such as asthma or chronic heart conditions) have a higher risk of developing severe disease or even death.

The latest research strongly suggests that smokers who have contracted COVID-19 are more likely to develop severe complications compared to non-smokers. Tobacco use causes respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, which increase the risk of severe illness and death in infected patients. Scientific evidence has long confirmed that smoking impairs lung and cardiovascular tissues and functions, which drastically suppress body’s immune system and tissue repair, increasing the risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia.

Additionally, smokers are more likely to touch their face with their hands during smoking, leading to increased chance of infection. Smokers should quit smoking immediately for their own health.

In fact, smokers’ lung, heart and circulation system will improve within a short period of time after quitting, e.g. carbon monoxide level decreases in the blood, thereby improving the condition of oxygen deficiency in the cells and tissue.

The paste used in waterpipe smoking (also known as “hookah” or “shisha”) contains tobacco and is harmful to health. Waterpipe are commonly shared by waterpipe smokers. The parts and accessories of waterpipe (e.g. hose and bowl) are difficult to be completely disinfected after each smoking session. The design of the apparatus and the manner of use also promote the growth and transmission of microorganisms. Research already showed that the use of waterpipe increases risk of infectious diseases such as Herpes Simplex virus, tuberculosis, and hepatisis C virus. Therefore, we strongly advise against waterpipe smoking, especially the use of shared waterpipe apparatus.

Secondhand smoke and active smoking both impair respiratory and cardiac functions. In order to protect yourself and those around you, quit now.

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