What Risks Does COVID-19 Pose to Smokers

If you don’t already know, trust me when I say the COVID-19 pandemic is very real and very serious. 

This is a virus that does not discriminate, putting virtually everyone at risk of being infected. 

Whether you work in MFG staffing or essential health services, you can get infected without the proper precautions. 

But while COVID-19 is a great threat to all people, smokers may be particularly dangerous for people who already have underlying health conditions. 

People with chronic lung and heart disease may be at a greater risk than others.

What Risks does COVID-19 Pose?

COVID-19 is a virus that aggressively targets the lungs and can even kill lung tissue and cells. Smokers and vapers already have abnormal inflammation in their airways.

With both the inflammation and the virus present in the lungs at the same time, serious complications can arise.

Experts at the American Lung Association believe that smokers are more susceptible to severe symptoms than non-smokers.

According to a prominent pulmonology and critical care specialist, people who smoke tobacco or marijuana products may be at a greater risk of complications if they contract the infection.

The specialist believes that smokers are also more susceptible to COIVD-19 infection because smoking and vaping destroy many of the lung’s natural defence mechanisms.

Substance abuse, including tobacco, is always a huge health risk, but even more so during this global health crisis.

According to the National Institutes of Health, smokers in China may have developed more severe cases than non-smokers, as per initial reviews.

The exact impact of COVID-19 on people with tobacco and marijuana smokers/vapers requires more research, but it makes prudent sense to quit now.

How Smoking Affects the Lungs

Smoking is an extremely dangerous habit that can severely damage the lungs. It destroys the small, hair-like follicles in the lungs called the cilia.

The cilia are part of the lungs’ natural defense mechanism. They trap debris, and even viruses, and move them back out of your lungs.

This is one of the human body’s defenses against viruses in the respiratory system.

However, smoking damages this defense mechanism. This often causes smokers to develop prolonged coughs after catching something like the common cold.

A person with healthy lungs is more likely to shake off the effects of the same cold.  

How Vaping Affects the Lungs

Vaping was originally thought of as a safer and healthier alternative to directly smoking tobacco or marijuana. The result was that vaping quickly gained popularity and developed a subculture of its own.

But over recent years, evidence has emerged that suggests that vaping may not be safe after all.

This evidence also seems to indicate damage to the cilia, similar to that in smokers. This puts vapers at more or less the same risk as smokers.

Using the Pandemic to Quit Smoking

Let nobody understate the seriousness of the situation. The virus is spreading aggressively, and has already infected millions of people all over the world.

At the same time, quitting smoking can be very hard for most people. It can often take several attempts before you are successfully free of the habit.

Right now, most of the country is in lockdown, with shelter in place orders, and most businesses like marketing recruitment agencies are opting for an online working format wherever possible.

However, being hunkered down may prove to be the perfect time to quit smoking for good. You can do this by:

• Identifying your triggers. You may be more likely to smoke at certain times than others. For example, some people smoke more in social situations. Others smoke while commuting. Both of these triggers are currently not present with social distancing in effect. That means you may already be smoking less because these triggers are absent.

• Give your day and space a refresh. Freshening up or changing the look of your living space can be a new ritual for you, instead of smoking. This can help you unlearn your smoking habit at the end of the day when in your comfort space.

• Be social, safely. We understand that smoking is addictive, and quitting it comes with a lot of hardship. It always helps to have somebody to talk to about the after-effects. Social distancing is important, but that does not stop you from joining virtual support communities also quitting smoking during the pandemic.

• Get help. There is no shame in admitting the habit is too strong for you to quit alone. Cigarettes have a psychological and chemical impact on our bodies, causing smokers to exhibit many tendencies that are similar to addicts. Counseling and step-by-step guides can help you modify your behavior and be done with smoking once and for all.  

Right now, most of the country is in lockdown, with shelter in place orders, and most businesses like marketing recruitment agencies are opting for an online working format wherever possible.

You can use this time to work on your health, and give up dangerous habits like vaping or smoking. Stay healthy, and stay safe.

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