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Health advocates to smokers: No better time to quit now

30 Mar 2020

Health advocates call on smokers and vapers to quit smoking now as new studies show that smoking increases the risk of contracting severe Covid-19. Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or use vape.

Studies already amply show that cigarette smoking weakens the immune system and compromises lung function, and while research to vape is limited new studies suggest that e-cigarettes may cause inflammation in the airways and lungs.

“Tobacco and vape products damage lungs. Smoking cigarettes also weakens the immune system making smokers more vulnerable to contracting severe case of covid,” said Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Philippines Executive Director and Pulmonologist Dr. Maricar B. Limpin.

According to a statement by the Department of Health (DOH), the elderly and males comprise the majority of the covid cases. Data shows that 42% of adult filipino men are smokers about a million are vapers. Smoking is known to weaken the immune system which compromises the body’s ability to respond to infections making smokers more vulnerable to Covid compared to non-smokers.

ASH also warned that exhaled air through smoking and vaping is not safe and exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) can pose serious health risks. Breathing SHS causes immediate harm to the cardiovascular system and increases the risk of heart attacks, as well as cause lung cancer in adults who have never smoked. SHS exposure also can cause many types of both acute and chronic breathing problems.

“Smoking not only harms you but also those around you. During this lockdown, we strongly urge to stop smoking. Do not expose your family to secondhand smoke. There is no better time to quit smoking now during this pandemic to save your life, as well as those around you,” added Limpin.

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