Smokers more vulnerable to COVID-19: Health ministry
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Health Ministry in its advisory ‘Covid-19 Pandemic and Tobacco Use in India" said, the use of tobacco products can increase the severity of respiratory infections and make people susceptible to coronavirus.

Smokers, it warned, are likely to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.

Tobacco use is a major risk factor for the four main Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) — cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes.

NCDs are estimated to account for 63% of all deaths in India. Smoking can increase the risk and severity of pulmonary infections because of damage to upper airways and a decrease in pulmonary immune function.

Within 12 hours of quitting, the carbon monoxide level in the bloodstream drops to normal. Within 2-12 weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases. After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decreases, the advisory added.

Source: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/COVID19PandemicandTobaccoUseinIndia.pdf
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