Post Mortem

The danger of smoking & chewing during COVID-19 endemic

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/25/2020 12:31:47 PM IST

 As we all know, COVID-19 has brought the world to its knee but it’s the responsibility of every individual to adopt safety measures to break the chain of transmission and also mitigate the complication. In a pandemic situation like today, Tobacco habits such as smoking and chewing could be risky for all. Smokers have one and half chance more of developing complication from COVID-19 and use of smokeless tobacco could become a source of infection through spitting due to the following reasons. 

1) The defense mechanism of the lung is already compromised due to smoking as most of the smokers suffer from COPD and other lung diseases and they are vulnerable to develop complication. Moreover, the capacity of the lung to provide oxygen to the body is also greatly reduced due to the damaged lung and thus increases the chance of systemic complication.
2) With every smoking, the amount of oxygen supply to your body is reduced as carbon monoxide molecules in burning cigarettes and bidi deprive the oxygen as haemoglobin has greater affinity for carbon monoxide than oxygen.
3) The smokers also have a greater chance of transmitting the virus from their hands to their mouth as they frequently touch their lips while smoking.
4) Consumption of smokeless tobacco leads to indiscriminate spitting and they could become a potential source of infection.
5) Pan and tamul products are handled many times before they are sold in the retail shops. There is every chance that they could be contaminated if handled by carriers and chewing and swallowing such products could be extremely risky.
All are requested to be careful with risky habits and this could be the best time to quit tobacco.
Regards Dr C Tetseo
State nodal officer NTCP
Directorate of Health and Family Welfare
Kohima Nagaland

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