Smoking and coronavirus- it’s time to quit

By June Shannon Coronavirus News   |   24th Mar 2020

Smoking reduces your natural protection against infections, like coronavirus, the HSE has said.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infection. Respiratory infections are serious infections that affect how you breathe. A wide range of bacteria and viruses cause these infections.

According to the HSE, “Smoking affects the immune system in the airways, lung tissue and throughout the body. This reduces your natural protection against infections, like coronavirus.”

This means that if you smoke:

“Smoking affects the immune system in the airways, lung tissue and throughout the body. This reduces your natural protection against infections, like coronavirus,"

HSE

Second-hand smoke has similar effects. Children who are exposed to smoke are at increased risk of acute respiratory infections.

Stopping smoking reduces your risk of smoking-related illness. Reducing exposure to second-hand smoke is also important, especially for children, the HSE said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also underlined the importance of smokers quitting.

Speaking to the media recently the Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom said, “smoking can increase your risk of developing severe disease if you become infected with COVID-19.”

“Smoking can increase your risk of developing severe disease if you become infected with COVID-19,"

Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director General , World Health Organisation

Giving up smoking is also one of the best things you can do for your heart health, as smoking is one of the major risk factors for both heart disease and stroke.

Launched late last year the 2019 Healthy Ireland Survey which reports on a number of lifestyle behaviours, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, physical health and use of health services, found that 17 per cent of the population are current smokers down from 23 per cent in 2015.

For information and support on stopping smoking please see here.

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