Quit smoking ‘to reduce coronavirus risk’, doctors urge

Quitting smoking could give you greater protection against coronavirus.

As cigarettes can weaken immune systems and negatively impact the lungs, it is not advisable to smoke them.

Dr Babak Ashrafi at UK-based online doctor, Zava UK, explained: “It’s widely known that smoking can reduce immunity to a small degree, and because of the effect it has on the lungs, it can make you more susceptible to catching viruses."

This isn’t the only reason why you should stop smoking at this time.

Health experts have warned that lighting up could make COVID-19 symptoms feel worse.

It may also prolong how long you feel sick for.

Dr Ashrafi added: “If you smoke, your infection might last longer than it would otherwise, and be more severe.

“It has also been advised by the Health Secretary to quit smoking in order to help protect yourself from coronavirus, so now might be the perfect time for you to stop.”

These thoughts are echoed by Dr Diana Gall at Doctor4U, who also urges the British public to give up cigarettes.

The health expert said: “Smoking is damaging to your health for many reasons. Over time, it affects your heart, lungs, and other vital organs that your body needs to stay healthy.

“Some of the most common complaints amongst smokers include a chronic cough, breathlessness, and a reduced lung capacity, especially when partaking in physical activity.

“COVID-19 is a virus that’s known to affect the respiratory system and cause a dry cough and breathing difficulties.

“Because of the nature of the virus, people with pre-existing breathing difficulties are known to suffer with more serious complications than healthy individuals, though the virus alone shouldn’t be your only motivation to quit.”

Dr Gall continued: “Those who smoke are always advised to give up for the sake of their health, but at a time when a highly contagious virus is spreading, people need to be doing all that they can to stay healthy in order to fight it off if they catch it.

“Cigarettes are known to affect the lungs, so it’s incredibly important as ever to give up smoking to protect yourself as much as possible from any type of disease, and not just the novel coronavirus.”

The health expert added that those who quit smoking may see positive impacts from making the change after just two days.

She explained: “According to the NHS, after just 48 hours without a cigarette, your lungs begin to start clearing mucus, and after 72 hours, breathing can become easier and your bronchial tubes start to open up.

“This on its own could provide you with slightly more of a defence against illnesses if you were to become infected compared to if you were still smoking.”

Looking to quit? Check out our handy explainer on how to give up cigarettes.

  • Smoking
  • Coronavirus

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