Author: Alisa Yin / Category: Guide / Published: Apr-15-2020
AS COVID-19 is affecting 210 countries and territories around the world, it continues to impact every aspect of our life. Coronavirus affects your lungs, causing epidemic symptoms such as fever, cough, expiratory dyspnea, sore throat, and inanition. We need to quickly adapt to change. If smoking or vaping is an important part of your life, you might wonder if a smoker or a vaper be at greater risk for coronavirus crisis. So we publish this article to discuss the most important topics about smoking and vaping during the coronavirus crisis.
Smoking Increases Your Coronavirus Risk
If there was ever a time to quit smoking, it’s now.
Smoking could make you more vulnerable to a severe infection with the new coronavirus, some experts say. The World Health Organization also recommends quitting smoking during the coronavirus crisis as it may increase the risk of infecting the COVID-19.
Cigarette smoke is always linked to lung inflammation and lowered immune function. Although there are few studies have investigated the connection specifically, plenty of evidence suggests that smoking suppresses immune function in the lungs and causes inflammation. Mounting evidence suggests that smoking history is one of the aspects causing a severe symptom in COVID-19 patients and long-term smokers face a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 infections.
For example, a study of more than 1,000 patients in China, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggested that smokers with COVID-19 were more likely to need intensive medical interventions than nonsmokers. In this study, 12.3% of smokers were entered into an ICU, used a ventilator or died.
Why COVID-19 Hits Smokers Harder?
1. Cigarette Smoking suppresses immune function
We all know that immunosuppressed people are at higher risk if they get COVID-19. There is a flood of literature suggesting that cigarette smoking inflames the lungs and suppresses immune function. So we can regard the cigarette smoke as an immunosuppressant. Scientists say it seems reasonable to assume that smoking increases the risk of getting viruses and having a worse outcome from the COVID-19.
2. Smoking is the main risk factor for chronic disease and death
Smokers are more likely to be stricken with heart disease, which seems to be the highest risk factor for the COVID-19 death rate up to now. The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford reports that smoking seems to be a factor related to low survival in Italy, where 24% of people smoke.
3. Entry points for coronavirus
The COVID-19 infections begin from the ACE2 receptor (a protein), which rests in the cell surfaces throughout the body including the upper and lower respiratory tracts. The COVID-19 virus injects its DNA, replicate and spread through the ACE2 receptor. The preliminary research suggests that lungs exposed to cigarette smoke have abnormally large numbers of ACE2 receptors, which may lead to the risk of being infected with the coronavirus.
Reduce COVID-19 Risks by Quitting Smoking
If you are a long-term smoker, don’t worry, the benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate. The science on quitting smoking reports good news for smokers who want to strengthen their lungs and reinforce immunity to fend off the COVID-19.
Within a couple of days of quitting, your body starts to recover and repair and your health can obviously improve, which may make a difference against the coronavirus and improve the respiratory symptoms. Though you cannot recover the scarring in your lungs caused by smoking, your lung health can improve in the short term. And the improvements are continuous after quitting smoking in the long run. You will begin to notice that you are breathing more easily. And the respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia will decrease as well.
In addition to lung-related illness, quitting smoking can also benefit your heart health, which could help to prevent the possibility of cardiac arrest. Heart disease is another factor of death in COVID-19 infections.
Is There Actually a Link Between Vaping and Coronavirus?
Speculation about a connection between vaping and COVID-19 has grown recently. The American anti-vaping contingent has tried its best to link vaping to growth in coronavirus infection. Actually, fringe theories with little-to-no scientific evidence have published making the connection between a previous outbreak of lung injury associated with an e-cigarette in the US and the COVID-19. In the UK, the suggestion from Public Health England is clear. Rosanna O’Connor, the Director of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs said, “There is currently no evidence that coronavirus can be caught from exposure to e-cigarette vapour.”
Having a preexisting disease related to respiratory health increases the chances of getting complications from COVID-19. It seems reasonable to think to vape with the COVID-19. But since experts say it’s impossible to say for sure that vaping causes lung disease or other chronic illnesses, it difficult to say if vaping increases the risks related to COVID-19. And there is no real data to back up the connection between vaping rates and COVID-19 rates.
Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos discusses the facts of the antibacterial and antiviral properties of propylene glycol (the key ingredient in vape juice) on the subject of ‘Smoking, vaping, and coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic’. It reports that most of the vapers are either dual users or former smokers, so they experience the side effects of current or previous smoking. Many of them may already have lung or respiratory diseases associated with smoking, which may have a high risk of being infected. But this is not caused by vaping. Rather, smokers switching from smoking to vaping would definitely have a better prognosis if smoking increases the infectivity and disease severity.
Overall, there is no evidence or study to prove the effects of vaping on coronavirus infectivity and disease progression. And there is also no evidence suggests that vaping could prevent coronavirus infection or reduce disease severity. In this case, we have several suggestions about smoking and vaping during the coronavirus as following:
- Quit smoking immediately
- If you cannot quit smoking, use an e-cigarette to quit smoking
- If you are a dual user of e-cigarette and cigarette, try to stop using the real cigarette
- If you have never smoked, don’t start vaping as there is no evidence suggests that vaping could prevent COVID-19
Vaping Suggestions During Coronavirus
- Wash your hand frequently and avoid touching your face until you have sanitised your hands
- Keep your vape kit sanitised. If the virus is on your vape, your vape will spread it in your mouth
- Use the anti-bacterial wipes to clean the kit and the mouthpiece regularly
- Don’t share your vape device with other people to avoid the risk of cross-contamination
- Avoid cloud chasing at a public place during coronavirus
- Try to switch to a vape device with minimum vapour production to avoid unwelcome concern
- Make sure you have enough vaping products, don’t go back to smoking (smoking will increase the lung-related illness)
We're Always Here to Help You Quit Smoking
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