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It's the time to kick the smoking habit to prevent coronavirus

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on May 1, 2020
smoking, coronavirus, covid19 in uae

(File)

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 in many ways.

All smokers, kick that butt now! It has been found that many coronavirus patients who experienced complications were smokers. This was revealed by Brigadier Dr Ali Singel, general health adviser for Dubai Police, during a briefing on Covid-19 update on Monday.

Medical experts support this, saying that smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 in many ways.

The act of smoking increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth as fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips.

Dr Adel Alsisi, medical director, Prime said: "The effect of Covid-19 on the cardiovascular system could make pre-existing cardiovascular conditions worse. Some non-smokers will be able to fight the virus with mild to moderate symptoms but it proliferates and severely attacks those with a weaker cardiovascular system."

He explained second-hand smoke could even be a major cause of cardiovascular diseases globally.

"Additionally, active smokers pass on the threat to people around them which increases their risk of coronary heart disease due to tobacco smoke."

Other medical professionals also state the relation between Covid-19 and the cardiovascular health of a person.

Dr Sreekumar Sreedharan, specialist internal medicine, Aster Clinic, Karama, said: "Smokers may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity, which would greatly increase risk of serious illness. There is an increased risk of more serious symptoms and death among Covid-19 patients that have underlying cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)."

He added: "The best thing you can do for your health is to stop smoking; and this is the best time to do so. For you, for your family and for everyone around you."

With threats from lung inflammation and pneumonia to viral and secondary bacterial infections due to weakening lung defences, doctors are now advising a smoking cessation plan.

Dr Mohamed Rafique, medical director, pulmonologist & chair of infection control, Prime Hospital, said: "Avoid high stress situations and reduce coffee/tea addiction, with smoking in parallel. Many interventions are available like carbon monoxide measurement and monitoring while weaning of smoking. Nicotine replacement patches or chewing gums could also be effective."

nandini@khaleejtimes.com


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