Connect with us

Coronavirus Outbreak

Smokers Are More Likely To Develop Severe Symptoms Of COVID-19: Ministry Of Health

Smoking impairs lung function, thereby reducing the immunity and making it harder for the body to fight off various diseases including COVID-19, says the Ministry of Health

Smokers Are More Likely To Develop Severe Symptoms Of COVID-19 Ministry Of Health

New Delhi: Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth, says the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOH&FW). In its latest document titled ‘COVID-19 Pandemic and Tobacco Use in India’, the MOH&FW has specified that the use of tobacco is a major risk factor for the four main non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) – cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes. If people with these conditions contract COVID-19, they are at a higher risk for developing severe illness.

Also Read: Overemphasis On Fever As A Predominant Symptom Of Coronavirus May Lead To Missing Several Cases: AIIMS Study

A review of studies by public health experts convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on April 29 also found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.

The Correlation Between Smoking And COVID-19

The use of tobacco is a risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases. Tobacco smoke including second-hand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals out of which more than 69 are cancer causing. The chemicals in tobacco smoke suppress the activity of different types of immune cells that are involved in general and targeted immune responses, reads the official document.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Is T-Cell Immunity And How Does It Provide Defense Against COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function, thereby reducing the immunity and making it harder for the body to fight off various diseases including COVID-19.

Further smoking products such as water pipes or hookah often involve the sharing of mouth-pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, reads the document issued by MOHF&W.

Since tobacco is a leading cause behind non-communicable diseases, it indirectly puts tobacco users and smokers at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Not only smoking, chewing tobacco products (Khaini, Gutkha, Paan, Zarda) and spitting in public places also increases the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2. There are two reasons behind this – firstly, using smokeless tobacco often involves some hand to mouth contact which means if hands are contaminated, the virus can enter the mouth. Secondly, the virus can be spread when the user spits out the excess saliva produced during the chewing process.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: ‘Spitting In Public Is Not Just Gross, It’s A Health Hazard’, Say Experts

Elaborating on smoking and consumption of smokeless tobacco, Dr Vishal Sehgal, Medical Director, Portea Medical, said,

The consumption of chewable tobacco products like gutkha, paan, khaini, and other tobacco products leads to a greater urge to spit. When someone spits in public places and roads, it causes contagious diseases and infections to spread in the vicinity. Also, when we talk about smoking, it is not just smoking cigarettes or bidis, but all forms of smoking such as hookah, e-cigarettes. These products directly affect the upper airways and are likely to increase the chances as well as the severity of pulmonary infections. Therefore, smoking and tobacco consumption are not only exposing people to cancer but, also to other deadly communicable diseases and COVID-19. Hence, it is the need of the hour to completely avoid any form of smoking and tobacco consumption.

Talking about what needs to be done to eradicate the practice of spitting in public places and stop people from smoking and consuming tobacco, Basanta Kumar Kar, Recipient of Global Nutrition Leadership Award, emphasised on initiating a people’s movement. He said,

Improving lung functions, immunity and reduction of co-infection and co-morbidity is the need in the fight against COVID-19. We need to accelerate the social behaviour change communication efforts. ‘Stop public Spiting’ and ‘Quitting Tobacco’ must be promoted together as a healthy behaviour. We need to leverage all the platforms and human capital potential and make ‘stop public spitting’ and ‘quitting tobacco’ a Jan Andolan (people’s movement).

In concurrence with the WHO statement on tobacco use and COVID-19 issued earlier in May, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare warns against the use of any tobacco products.

Also Read: ‘Thoda To Socho, Corona Ko Roko’ Says Union Health Ministry Through A Rap Song To Discourage Spitting In Public Places

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,81,49,892Cases
19,07,93,163Active
3,26,71,167Recovered
46,85,562Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,81,49,892 and 46,85,562 have died; 19,07,93,163 are active cases and 3,26,71,167 have recovered as on September 19, 2021 at 3:52 am.

India

3,34,48,163 30,773Cases
3,32,1588,481Active
3,26,71,167 38,945Recovered
4,44,838 309Deaths
In India, there are 3,34,48,163 confirmed cases including 4,44,838 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,32,158 and 3,26,71,167 have recovered as on September 19, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,18,502 3,391

51,472 530

63,28,561 3,841

1,38,469 80

Kerala

44,88,813 19,325

1,81,411 8,084

42,83,963 27,266

23,439 143

Karnataka

29,67,083 889

15,783 205

29,13,713 1,080

37,587 14

Tamil Nadu

26,43,683 1,653

16,893 50

25,91,480 1,581

35,310 22

Andhra Pradesh

20,37,353 1,174

14,653 144

20,08,639 1,309

14,061 9

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,652 9

193 2

16,86,572 7

22,887

West Bengal

15,61,014 728

7,967 41

15,34,406 757

18,641 12

Delhi

14,38,469 41

404 3

14,12,980 44

25,085

Odisha

10,19,621 695

5,929 689

10,05,564

8,128 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,042 28

332 14

9,91,150 42

13,560

Rajasthan

9,54,246 8

102 2

9,45,190 10

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,715 13

143 11

8,15,490 24

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,386 6

97 12

7,81,772 18

10,517

Haryana

7,70,711 6

323 0

7,60,580 6

9,808

Bihar

7,25,881 10

65 0

7,16,158 10

9,658

Telangana

6,63,281 255

5,148 75

6,54,230 329

3,903 1

Punjab

6,01,236 30

316 7

5,84,453 23

16,467

Assam

5,97,709 365

5,063 102

5,86,856 465

5,790 2

Jharkhand

3,48,114 3

74 20

3,42,907 23

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,376 21

282 0

3,35,704 20

7,390 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,773 152

1,479 39

3,21,878 113

4,416

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,813 174

1,610 30

2,11,554 142

3,649 2

Goa

1,75,414 123

771 40

1,71,351 81

3,292 2

Puducherry

1,25,384 128

924 5

1,22,631 122

1,829 1

Manipur

1,18,261 140

2,180 92

1,14,251 228

1,830 4

Tripura

83,840 31

367 37

82,665 67

808 1

Meghalaya

79,325 119

1,876 76

76,075 192

1,374 3

Mizoram

79,171 1,104

14,456 161

64,456 938

259 5

Chandigarh

65,176 4

35 1

64,323 3

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,060 32

461 44

53,328 76

271

Sikkim

30,893 54

728 28

29,786 82

379

Nagaland

30,840 60

491 20

29,696 39

653 1

Ladakh

20,702

109 0

20,386

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

1 4

10,665 4

4

Lakshadweep

10,356

6 1

10,299 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,598 2

14 0

7,455 2

129

Coronavirus Outbreak: Full CoverageTesting CentresFAQs

Leaving No One Behind

Mental Health

Environment

Join Us