According to a study conducted in China, those with a history of smoking are at higher risk of developing more severe cases of the infection caused by the new coronavirus.
People who smoke are 14 times more likely to develop severe Covid-19 symptoms than patients who do not have the habit. This is what a group of researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, found.
The study, which was published by the team in the Chinese Medical Journal in late February, also found that even those with a history of smoking have a 14% higher risk of developing pneumonia when infected with the new coronavirus. According to experts, this is because smoking causes a chronic inflammatory condition in the lungs.
“Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs and airways causing a range of severe respiratory problems,” said spokesmen for the Public Health System in England, according to The Irish Post. “The evidence clearly shows Covid-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk.”
Additionally, another risk associated with smoking is that the habit of smoking requires placing your hands frequently on your lips, which increases the chance of infection by the virus. “In light of this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to stop smoking,” said John Newton, director of England’s Public Health system, as reported by Metro.