Smoking may put people at greater of COVID-19 risk, researchers say

[ad_1]

As hospitals across the country combat the novel coronavirus, UC Davis Health is trying to prevent the spread by warning cancer patients now. Doctors at the UC Davis Cancer Center are starting to send letters to current and former smokers, warning them that smoking may make them more susceptible to COVID-19. The letters say in part:”Smoking doubles the risk of developing respiratory infections. “Smoking can worsen outcomes for COVID-19 with greater likelihoods of needing ICU care, a ventilator, and death. “Vaping can cause lung injury, especially in young people, which can make a COVID-19 infection worse.”“You might need mechanical ventilation, help with breathing or be at a greater risk of dying,” Dr. Elisa Tong said about people with a history of smoking. Tong is the medical director for the Stop Tobacco program at the Cancer Center. “The surgeon general has already determined that smoking increases your risk for developing respiratory infections,” she said. “It makes sense if your lungs have injury to them, and it may be from injury over time. So even people who have quit, maybe they have some tobacco-related disease to their lungs or even to their heart that makes it harder for them to fight off an infection, should they get it.”Researchers at UC Merced’s Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center also found that smokers sick with the coronavirus were 14 times more likely to need “intensive respiratory assistance.” Tong said new clinical reports are important not just for smokers, but for those who vape and smoke marijuana.“If you think of it in terms of inhaling aerosol with chemicals and particles, that kind of inflammation may injure your lungs and put you at greater risk for your immune system being able to fight back,” Tong said. While smokers face a greater risk of contracting the virus, health experts said people exposed to secondhand smoke are also not in the clear. UC Merced researchers are now asking public health departments in the Central Valley to help by prohibiting smoking at public parks, storefronts and multi-unit homes. “Smoke can seep through electrical wiring or even the pipes, that you may be affecting others in your community and not even realize it,” Tong said.The California Department of Public Health is encouraging people who smoke or vape to consider quitting and is referring people to the California Smokers’ Helpline, the state’s free quitline. Thanks to grant money, UC Davis is mailing out free two-week supplies of nicotine patches to smokers. “This is something that can jump start their quit attempt at home and they don’t have to come in and see the doctor or come into the pharmacy to pick up something in the store,” Tong said.The American Lung Association also launched a $25 million coronavirus initiative to fund research. “What we found is that individuals who smoke or vape do have more complications with COVID-19 if they contract the disease,” said Erica Costa, the advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “There are more complications with recovery rates and recovery time.” “We always encourage individuals to consider stopping smoking, but that has never been more relevant in a time like this,” she added.

As hospitals across the country combat the novel coronavirus, UC Davis Health is trying to prevent the spread by warning cancer patients now.

Doctors at the UC Davis Cancer Center are starting to send letters to current and former smokers, warning them that smoking may make them more susceptible to COVID-19. The letters say in part:

  • “Smoking doubles the risk of developing respiratory infections.
  • “Smoking can worsen outcomes for COVID-19 with greater likelihoods of needing ICU care, a ventilator, and death.
  • “Vaping can cause lung injury, especially in young people, which can make a COVID-19 infection worse.”

“You might need mechanical ventilation, help with breathing or be at a greater risk of dying,” Dr. Elisa Tong said about people with a history of smoking.

Tong is the medical director for the Stop Tobacco program at the Cancer Center.

“The surgeon general has already determined that smoking increases your risk for developing respiratory infections,” she said. “It makes sense if your lungs have injury to them, and it may be from injury over time. So even people who have quit, maybe they have some tobacco-related disease to their lungs or even to their heart that makes it harder for them to fight off an infection, should they get it.”

Researchers at UC Merced’s Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center also found that smokers sick with the coronavirus were 14 times more likely to need “intensive respiratory assistance.”

Tong said new clinical reports are important not just for smokers, but for those who vape and smoke marijuana.

“If you think of it in terms of inhaling aerosol with chemicals and particles, that kind of inflammation may injure your lungs and put you at greater risk for your immune system being able to fight back,” Tong said.

While smokers face a greater risk of contracting the virus, health experts said people exposed to secondhand smoke are also not in the clear. UC Merced researchers are now asking public health departments in the Central Valley to help by prohibiting smoking at public parks, storefronts and multi-unit homes.

“Smoke can seep through electrical wiring or even the pipes, that you may be affecting others in your community and not even realize it,” Tong said.

The California Department of Public Health is encouraging people who smoke or vape to consider quitting and is referring people to the California Smokers’ Helpline, the state’s free quitline.

Thanks to grant money, UC Davis is mailing out free two-week supplies of nicotine patches to smokers.

“This is something that can jump start their quit attempt at home and they don’t have to come in and see the doctor or come into the pharmacy to pick up something in the store,” Tong said.

The American Lung Association also launched a $25 million coronavirus initiative to fund research.

“What we found is that individuals who smoke or vape do have more complications with COVID-19 if they contract the disease,” said Erica Costa, the advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “There are more complications with recovery rates and recovery time.”

“We always encourage individuals to consider stopping smoking, but that has never been more relevant in a time like this,” she added.

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *