Smoking tobacco ruins almost every organ of the body.
It causes dreaded diseases and decreases the lifespan of people who smoke in general. In the United States alone, the death ratio due to cigarette smoking is 1:5, which is more than the 480,000 combined HIV, car accidents, illegal drug use, alcohol abuse and firearm related deaths . Majority of lung and breast cancer cases are caused by smoking; it is also the primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by two to four times. For smoking men, the risk of developing cancer is 25 times, while it is 25.7 for smoking women.
Health Risks of Smoking
What makes smoking deadly? Tobacco contains a dangerous and highly addictive ingredient, which is nicotine. Nicotine is a chemical with nitrogen on its molecule that comes from several types of plants, including tobacco. It is too dangerous that it can increase the heart rate and blood pressure, as well as cause narrowing of the arteries. Nicotine can also cause a heart attack as it hardens the walls of the arteries. Researches show that 60 ml of nicotine can cause the quick death of a person weighing 150 pounds.
COVID 19 Facts
Recently, a particular virus infected the whole world. It’s a virus that can cause severe respiratory illness to people and animals with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, colds, and loss of appetite. Some cases may be mild, but others can lead to pneumonia. The virus is usually transmitted by droplets like fluid or saliva or a sneeze from a person infected by the virus.
The name coronavirus was derived from its shape, which is crown-like. Bats are a natural reservoir for this virus. The bat passes it on to other animals which can eventually pass it on to humans. Did you know that in just one cough, there can be 3000 virus particles that can go all over the place? If these particles are in the air, they can stay there for up to three hours. If they fall in a cardboard box, it can be there for at least 24 hours. On the plastic, they can last for two to three days.
Once it goes inside your body, the coronavirus can use up protein inside your cells. It will then trick cells and multiply within them. This is when you feel its symptoms.
COVID 19 and Smoking
COVID 19 is indeed dangerous but its transmission and infection can be greatly reduced by simple ways such as social distancing, wearing a mask, & proper hygiene. You can also help keep yourself healthy with regular exercise, proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle.
In one study posted in the preprint server bioRxiv, it was shown that those who smoke may be prone to severe COVID-19 infections, as their lungs may contain more entry points that the virus can utilize. It was explained in this study that COVID-19 infections start at the ACE2 receptor found in the surface of cells in the body, particularly those found in the lower respiratory tracts. The virus replicates and spreads in the body by plugging into the ACE2 receptor and injecting its genetic material to the cells.
Lungs that are exposed to cigarette smoke have a lot of ACE2 receptors, thus smokers are more prone to coronavirus respiratory complications.
However, the results of this study are at conflict with the results of a French study that hypothesized that smoking may actually protect people from COVID 19 infections. The article, published in Qeios, claimed that 4.4% of inpatients and 5.3% of outpatients with COVID-19 are smokers. These percentages are only a small part of the prevalence of smoking in the French population. In 2018, 25.4% of the French population were reported as smokers. The authors surmised that smokers have a low risk of developing symptomatic or severe COVID 19 infections as compared to the general population. The results coincided with the results of a previous review of 28 studies from different countries.
So, can smoking cause COVID 19 infection? Only time can tell.
Further studies are needed to validate these claims. What is important nowadays is that we take good care of our health by eating healthy food, getting adequate exercise and getting enough sleep.
Livescience (2020). Why COVID-19 hits smokers harder. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-covid-19-risk-and-smoking.html
Does nicotine protect us against coronavirus?. (2020). Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://theconversation.com/does-nicotine-protect-us-against-coronavirus-137488