Am I at greater risk from Covid-19 if I smoke and how?
Yes, Coronavirus attacks the lungs and respiratory system. If you smoke, you are more vulnerable to serious infection with coronavirus because the lungs are already weakened.
We have small brush like hairs in the airways called Cilia which move mucous, inhaled debris and potentially infectious agents out of the airways and lungs. The chemicals from cigarettes have two serious effects on these cilia. Firstly, they reduce the cilia movement, meaning it is harder to move mucous out of the lungs and secondly, over time, prolonged inhaled smoke kills these cilia, drastically increasing the risk of infection.
On top of this, smoking suppresses the immune system and weakens your body’s natural defences to fight infections like Coronavirus.
Will my smoking affect others, does passive smoking increase the risk?
Yes. Every cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals. People who breath in second-hand smoke on a regular basis are more likely to get the same diseases as smokers, meaning they are also at risk from corona. Children who live in a smoky house are at a higher risk of breathing problems and asthma which are both in the high-risk category for corona.
Is there anything that can help myself and those around me?
Giving up smoking can help!
Lung defences can start to heal within days of giving up smoking. Research in the journal Nature shows that lungs have a “magical” ability to repair some of the damage caused by smoking if you stop smoking completely.
According to Science Media Centre, stopping smoking, even for 24 hours, is seen to have a huge improvement on the function of the remaining cilia. The longer you stop smoking the greater your recovery.
It is worth quitting.
How can I quit?
If you’re concerned about smoking and being at greater risk, then this is your moment to quit, call 0333 005 0095.
We provide 6 weeks of sessions with dedicated practitioners who will give you tips on how to quit. At the moment sessions are digitial or over the phone.