The new COVID-19 strain has forced the country into another lockdown with a surge in the number of patients. While you may be adhering to preventive measures like washing your hands regularly, social distancing, and staying at home, these steps are not enough to keep you safe. If you are a smoker, you are at a much higher risk of contracting severe illness if infected by the virus. This article will highlight the risks of smoking during the pandemic, why it is dangerous, and how you can reduce the risks.
How Coronavirus Impacts Your Lungs
COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease that attacks your lungs. When your body is infected by the coronavirus, the body releases white blood cells to fight the virus. These cells have a poor control over their target, and they damage some lung cells too, which fills the lungs with blood fluids instead of air. This deprives your blood of oxygen and leads to failure of body organs.
How Smoking Alleviates the Problem
Smoking cigarettes is closely linked to lungs inflammation and a weakened immune system. Prolonged smoking damages the epithelial (outer) layer of lungs that protects them from infections. A continued exposure to smoking leads to chronic diseases like asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). If your lungs and immune system are already compromised due to smoking, the coronavirus attack can create serious health issues and in some cases it can be fatal.
Is Vaping Safe During COVID-19?
Almost all the harm from a cigarette comes from its tar, carbon monoxide, and combustion of tobacco, which does not happen in vaping. In addition, several studies in the UK have confirmed that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. While vaping is a safe alternative to smoking, it may not be completely harmless as excessive vaping can pose risks. You should exercise caution during the pandemic and try using it during moments of high craving only.
How to Minimise the Risk
Instead of quitting smoking, most of you might have adopted it as a time pass activity during lockdown. But it is not too late, you can still manage it and move towards quitting. Below are a few tips that you can try to minimise the risks and move towards smoking cessation.
- Identify your triggers and mood swings so that you can overcome your cravings.
- Lockdown can be stressing; find different ways to relax yourself instead of smoking.
- Join online support groups to motivate yourself from others who have quit smoking.
- Engage yourself in a hobby or spend time with family and never leave your mind idle.
- Switch to safer and less addictive alternatives like vaping and nicotine products.