Home / Hypnosis / Smoking increases your coronavirus risk. There’s never been a better time to quit

by Billie Bonevski, Caitlin Bialek and Eliza Skelton, The Conversation

If you’re a smoker, there’s really never been a better time to quit. Coronavirus affects your lungs, causing flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and fatigue. In the most serious cases, sufferers struggle to breathe at all and can die of respiratory failure.

The World Health Organisation recommends people quit smoking as it makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

Here’s what we know about smoking and COVID-19 risk—and how you can boost your chances of quitting while under lockdown.

Early data from China suggests smoking history is one factor that the risk of poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, smoking is a leading risk factor for chronic disease and death.

Smokers are more susceptible to developing heart disease, which so far seems to be the highest risk factor for the COVID-19 death rate. The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford reports that smoking seemed to be a factor associated with poor survival in Italy, where 24% of people smoke.

We know that immunosuppressed people are at higher risk if they get COVID-19 and cigarette smoke is an immunosuppressant.

And the hand-to-mouth action of smoking makes smokers vulnerable to COVID-19 as they are touching their mouth and face more often.

We don’t yet know if recent ex-smokers are at higher risk of COVID-19 than people who have never smoked. Given the lungs heal rapidly after quitting smoking, being an ex-smoker is likely to decrease your chances of complications due to COVID-19.

Reduce your COVID-19 risks today by quitting

The benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate. Within 24 hours of quitting, the body starts to recover and repair. Lung function improves and respiratory symptoms become less severe.

You might not notice the changes immediately, but they will become obvious within months of quitting. And the improvements are sustained with long-term abstinence.

Tiny hairs in your lungs and airways (called cilia) get better at clearing mucus and debris. You’ll start to notice you’re breathing more easily.

Quitting while in lockdown

Physical distancing and lockdown measures may make it more challenging to get the support you need to quit smoking—but not impossible.

If financial stress is undermining your attempts to stop smoking, calculate how much money you can save by quitting (and whatever you do, don’t share cigarettes with someone else). Financial support is available if COVID-19 has affected your income.

Full article from MedicalXpress