Smoking and COVID-19: Impact of Smoking on Lungs
Impact of Smoking on Lungs:
Smoking is injurious to health and it causes cancer. This might sound cliché. Well, not so cliché when the world is overwhelmed by pandemics where smoking is one of the top risk factors. It is a well-established fact that tobacco consumption and vaping risk cause many health conditions, particularly pulmonary infections. Tobacco contains numerous cancer-causing chemicals which inhibit the activity of immune cells. It weakens the lung function and reduces immunity making the body vulnerable to various diseases. In other words, smoking increases the risk and severity of respiratory infections because of the damage it causes to the airways, the resultant weakening in respiratory immune functions as a consequence of the same.
Lungs’ Defence Mechanism & COVID-19:
To keep the viruses and bacteria away from securing a place in our lungs, the lungs use defences such as mucus layer and cilia. The normal mucus layer in our airways and cilia or the tiny hair in our airways keep dirt and mucus away from our lungs and immune cells of our airways. However, inhalation of toxins by smoking disturbs the ability of the proper functioning of the defences and upsets the immune system leading to inflammation in the airways. The coincidence of the inflammation and the invasion of COVID-19 makes it difficult for the lungs to fight the invading virus. This inability to fight the virus increases the risk of numerous serious complications on account of the infection. Smoking leads to the inflammation of lung tissues making them susceptible to illness. Also, tobacco consumption is detrimental to our immune system and our airway defenders. When they are destroyed by the toxins of tobacco, our lungs become vulnerable, drastically impacting our overall body health.
Smokers & COVID-19:
Since COVID-19 attacks the lungs primarily, smokers are naturally more susceptible to virus as compared to non-smokers. So, if you are a smoker, you won’t be spared by the coronavirus by just washing your hands, staying indoors and maintaining social distancing. Therefore, it is not only important to prevent from getting infected with COVID-19 in the first place, but also crucial to keep your lungs healthy in order to avoid the severity of the infection. If you really wish to stay away from the virus, begin by quitting smoking. The pandemic has made quitting smoking as crucial and relevant as ever in order to help smokers avoid developing severe COVID-19 infection.
Do not be misguided by reports suggesting a link between smoking cigarettes for the prevention of COVID-19. These reports are inconsistent with the well-established fact that tobacco consumption damages the lungs and other body parts, reduces immunity, and makes us susceptible to COVID-19. Since COVID-19 is primarily a lung infection that gravely attacks the lung health, it is without a doubt that habits such as smoking subjects smokers vulnerable to the virus. In line with the WHO’s statement on tobacco use and Covid 19, Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre warns against the consumption of tobacco and encourages quitting.
If you know how detrimental smoking is to not only to your health, but also to that of your loved ones, and have long wanted to quit it, now is the time. The best decision you can make at this crucial time is to quit smoking and vaping. It will improve your overall lung health and
enhance your body’s ability to wrestle triumphantly with the virus and its severe symptoms. It will also help you protect your loved ones from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke exposure has detrimental effects such as lung cancer on people who don’t smoke. Despite the risks, a large adult population smokes because nicotine is so addictive and getting rid of a habit can be extremely hard but it is not impossible. So, here is to remind you that this is your time. What’s better than being at home, away from your triggers, surrounded by your loved ones or in the comfort of your home to put an end to tobacco consumption? Grab the opportunity and start now.
In this pandemic situation, we urge you all to keep yourself safe and healthy. Don’t feel bogged down. If you need help, reach out. There is much support and help available here. Take consultation from our COVID-19 & pulmonology experts at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre; they will help you do away with your tobacco addiction for good. Utilise the time to get rid of your addiction and restore your lung health. Quit smoking and allow your lung and other organs to function properly to get rid of the toxins.
You are likely to be tempted when hanging out with friends and colleagues- your usual crowd. Don’t lose focus on eliminating your smoking habit while you work from home and maintaining social distancing away from your triggers or the urge to light up. Yes, you can!
You have ample time in your hands. Try new rituals- reorganize your space, declutter your desktop, practice meditation, listen to spiritual podcasts, do things that keep you motivated and occupied in order to keep smoking at bay. Refresh and relearn.
Remember, you are not alone in this fight! There are others who desperately want to quit smoking too. Connect with like-minded people, share your stories, and help each other’s build confidence in this journey.
We are more than happy to help you realise your commitment to quit smoking. We will guide you through your journey step by step. You can also receive individual counseling and therapy sessions from our experts who will counsel you on the way out of tobacco addiction. Your health means everything. Start today!
Consult our pulmonologist & COVID-19 expert Dr. Brijesh Prajapat today.