The World Health Organization declared May 31 as World No Tobacco Day. This year’s theme is the pledge to quit smoking, which gained momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic. The link between smoking and COVID-19 infection is controversial. Preliminary studies in China and Europe seem to indicate that the prevalence of COVID infection among smokers is low, and smoking has a protective effect on the impact of COVID; however, subsequent analysis shows that these studies have serious methodological flaws.
Later studies have shown that, Smokers feel very uncomfortable after contracting the coronavirus. Among smokers, COVID mainly affects the lungs, and smoking can also damage the lungs. Global studies have shown that after COVID, smokers are more likely to have serious lung complications than non-smokers. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization published a scientific report showing that smokers are at increased risk of Covid-19 and death.
These findings about the negative effects of smoking are not surprising, because smokers are traditionally more susceptible to infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The chemicals in tobacco smoke inhibit the activity of different types of immune cells and weaken the immune system, thereby reducing the ability to resist COVID-19 infection.
The positive effects of quitting smoking appear almost immediately after a few minutes or a few hours, and last for years to ten years. After about 12 hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood dropped to a normal level. Blood circulation and lung function improved between 4 to 12 weeks. Reduce breathing and reduce the risk of respiratory infections. One year later, the risk of coronary artery disease is about half that of smokers. After 5 years, the risk of heart attack or stroke is reduced to non-smokers. By the age of 10, the risk of lung cancer is about half that of smokers, and the risk of mouth, throat, and esophagus cancer is also reduced.