Smokers more susceptible to Covid-19: DOH

Smokers more susceptible to Covid-19: DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) warned that smokers are more prone to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection.

DOH Promotion Bureau Director and Special Assistant to Health Secretary Beverly Ho, during the Beat Covid-19 virtual presser on Wednesday, said majority of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines are male elderly persons.

Base sa ating datos (Based on our data), 42 percent of adult Filipino men are smokers and about a million are vapers, gusto po natin silang paalalahanan na mas vulnerable po sila sa Covid-19 kaysa sa ibang tao (we want to remind them that they’re more vulnerable to Covid-19 compared to others),” she said.

Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), Ho said the act of smoking increases the possibility of transmission of virus.

“WHO also said that the act of smoking means that the fingers and possibly contaminated cigarettes are in contact with lips — which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus from hand to mouth, making the smokers more vulnerable to Covid-19,” she said.

Ho said smokers contract more respiratory illnesses, making their immune system weak to respond to infections, including the deadly Covid-19.

Ho also cited a New England Journal of Medicine study on clinical characteristics of Covid-19 in China which revealed that smokers comprised more than 25 percent of those who needed mechanical ventilation and admission to an intensive care unit, or those who died.

“Dahil po rito, pinapaki-usapan po namin ang ating mga smokers na huminto sa paninigarilyo para na po sa inyong kapakanan at kalusugan. (Because of this, we appeal to smokers to quit smoking for your health and wellness),” she said.

She also reminded the general public to avoid second-hand smoke from vape or regular cigarettes.— By Ma. Teresa Montemayor / PNA

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