Smokers at greater risk of severe Covid-19 complications

Painless Stop Smoking

PUTRAJAYA: Smokers who contract Covid-19 are at risk of developing severe complications such as liver and kidney failure as well as acute respiratory distress syndrome, says Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said the data was obtained through a study by the Health Ministry (MOH) involving 5,889 Covid-19 patients treated nationwide from Feb 1 to May 31,2020.

Of those patients, 791 were smokers (773 men and 18 women) with the majority aged 30 and above, he said.

“The findings show that smokers are almost twice as likely to develop severe complications than non-smokers, ” he told a press conference here yesterday.

The study was a collaboration between International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and MOH through the Disease Control Division, Medical Development Division as well as the National Institutes of Health.

Dr Noor Azmi said the findings were in line with a scientific brief by the World Health Organisation on smoking and Covid-19 on June 30,2020.

MOH Tobacco Control Sector head Dr Nor Aryana Hassan said the 791 smokers already had chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure (16.7%), diabetes (12.3%), heart problems (5.2%) and chronic lung conditions (1.1%).

Earlier, Dr Noor Azmi launched phase three of the smoking cessation service mQuit through the newly improved website — Bernama

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