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Panaji, May 21, 2020

Vaisakha 31,1942 

          Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases. Smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with Covid – 19 compared to non smokers states District Tobacco Control Cell, District Hospital, Mapusa, North.

Tobacco is a major risk factor for non communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which put people with these conditions at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by Covid-19. Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of Covid-19 in communal and social settings.

Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia. Covid 19 is an infectious disease that primarily affect the lungs. Smoking impairs the lung function making it harder for the body to fight off corona viruses and other diseases.

          Chewing smokeless tobacco products, paan masala and areca nut (supari) increases the production of saliva followed by a very strong urge to spit.

          Spitting in public places could enhance the spread of covid 19 virus. People refrain from consuming smokeless tobacco products and public places during Covid epidemic.



This is therefore the right time for smokers and smokeless tobacco users to take immediate steps to quit tobacco. The Doctor and counsellor at Tobacco Cessation Centre, District Hospital, Mapusa may be contacted on all working days.