Smokers And Vapers More Vulnerable to Coronavirus?
Are smokers relatively more vulnerable to coronavirus as opposed to non-smokers? Before exploring this question, its important to recall that early researches suggesting causation of lung cancer with smoking were later debunked as increasing cases of lung cancers piled up where victims had no history of smoking. Its often confused – fact vs opinion and correlation vs causation. Having said that, however, this time it might not be the case with coronavirus because it primarily attacks the respiratory system in the first place.
Being older and having a chronic underlying illness were revealed as risk factors in early pathological studies amid the corona pandemic. Researchers are now racing to figure out how this new viral foe affects the lungs’ ability, therefore, smoking and vaping are also being actively investigated as risk factors.
Many studies have been undertaken to reveal how tobacco smoke skews immune responses contributing to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases. The plethora of research justifies a restrictive policy aiming at limiting the domestic and public exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Coronavirus essentially restricts breathing and attacks our respiratory mechanism. Smoking endorses and increases its impact.
The research conducted before the corona outbreak, had suggested that ‘smoking suppresses immune function in the lungs. It is also known to increase the risk of influenza. While there are very little data on e-cigarette use and infectious disease risk, the recent outbreak of deadly vaping-related lung illnesses sensitized both the scientific world and the public to the potential harms associated with that practice.’
The scientific approach to treating people who get coronavirus cannot rely on understanding SARS-CoV-2 -another name of new coronavirus – in isolation and must also take into account the unique history and susceptibility of each patient’s lung airways. Lungs contain an array of around 1,200 miles of capillaries and 300 million tiny sacs. When we breathe, our heart circulates blood to fuel every cell in the body. Therefore, factoring in personal habits like smoking and vaping, becomes imperative for effective treatment of COVID-19.