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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

The harmful impact of smoking on COVIDE 19

By Manjari Peiris

The coronavirus (COVID-19) attacks the lungs, and behaviors that weaken the lungs put individuals at greater risk. The harmful impact of smoking on the lungs is well documented.

There is conclusive evidence that smoking increases the risk for respiratory infections, weakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, there is a growing body of evidence that vaping can also harm lung health. Toxins in tobacco smoke harm the body from the moment they enter through the mouth and nose. They damage tissue and cells all the way to the lungs.

When cigarette smoke is inhaled, chemicals from the smoke are absorbed in the lungs. As a result, smoking: causes lung diseases, including the majority of cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); makes chronic lung diseases more severe; and increases the risk for respiratory infections.

Genetic factors make some people more susceptible to lung disease from smoking. Although the lung has ways to protect itself from injury by inhaled agents, these defenses are overwhelmed when cigarette smoke is inhaled repeatedly over time. After years of exposure to cigarette smoke, lung tissue becomes scarred, loses its elasticity, and can no longer exchange air efficiently.

Adults who smoked as teenagers can have lungs that never grow to their potential size and never perform at full capacity. This happens because the lungs of young people are still growing, but the chemicals in cigarette smoke slow down lung growth. Such damage is permanent, and increases the risk of COPD later in life.

The health effects of exposure to e-cigarettes, especially of chronic exposure, are uncertain. However, e-cigarettes emit volatile carbonyls, reactive oxygen species, furans, and metals (nickel, lead, chromium),4 many of which are toxic to the lung summarizes the rapidly expanding evidence from cell culture, animal, and human studies on the potential pulmonary health effects of e-cigarettes.

"Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID - 19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuna or who vape."

"It is therefore reasonable to be concerned that compromised lung function or lung disease related to smoking history, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), could put people at risk for serious complications of COVID - 19."

"Vaping' like smoking, may also harm lung health. Whether it can lead to COPD is still unknown, but emerging evidence suggests that exposure to aerosols from e-cigarettes harms the cells of the lung and diminishes the ability to respond to infection."

Source of information - Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

- Asian Tribune -

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