Smoking and COVID1916/04/2020
The Western Trust is sending out a stark warning that if you smoke, you are not only putting yourself at greater risk of developing severe respiratory disease from the COVID19 virus, but those around you exposed to second hand smoke, including children, are also put at increased risk.
Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs and airways causing a range of severe respiratory problems. The evidence clearly shows COVID19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk.
In addition, the repetitive hand to mouth movement provides an easy route of entry for the virus, putting smokers at greater risk of contracting COVID19.
Dr Catherine McDonnell, Western Trust Medical Director said: “In light of this unprecedented COVID19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to stop smoking. Not only for your own health but to protect those around you. It will also help alleviate the huge pressures on the health and social care system.”
It is never too late to quit, no matter your age.
Once smokefree, there are very real health benefits with the body continuing to repair the longer you stay smokefree. The more immediate benefits include:
- after 48 hours carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris
- after 72 hours breathing becomes easier as bronchial tubes begin to relax
- after two to 12 weeks blood circulation improves, making physical activity like walking and running easier.
Due to COVID-19, drop in clinics have been suspended however telephone consultations have been setup along and prescription issued for Replacement Therapy NRT if required. The Stop smoking helpline number 080 0917 9388 is available.