Smokers and vapers may be at higher risk for Covid-19

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“I firmly believe that one plus one equals two. Until I have evidence to the contrary, I believe it is extremely important for us to help people stop breathing anything in their lungs that could cause any kind of inflammation, because the coronavirus will only find a welcoming environment if not, “said Dr. Carolyn Dresler, former associate director of medical and health sciences for the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, during a week-long webinar last for Action on Smoking and Health, an international non-profit group.

A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that Chinese smoking coronavirus patients were more than twice as likely as those who did not have serious Covid-19 infections. And smoking was identified as a factor in patients who fell ill in 2012 with MERS, another coronavirus.

Another signal points to the vulnerability of smokers to this coronavirus. The virus appears to attack the body by attaching to a binding receptor called the angiotensin-2 converting enzyme, or ACE-2. Smoking can increase the expression of ACE-2. This is why doctors and researchers believe that smokers can be infected with more copies of the virus than other patients.

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About 34 million American adults smoke cigarettes, according to recent data, and some five million high school and high school students report having sprayed nicotine and marijuana products.

A frightening epidemic of life-threatening lung diseases linked to vaping last summer was eventually linked to the vaping of marijuana oils that contained the vitamin E acetate additive. But doctors say at least 15% of patients said they only sprayed nicotine products.

Pediatrician Dr. Winickoff said caution about marijuana products is also recommended: “Inhaling burned or vaporized cannabis products can damage lung cells, can increase viral replication, and affect the ability to fight ‘infection,’ he said.
“Clean air is what the lungs should inhale, especially during a global pandemic.”

Last month, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians called for a ban on sales of tobacco and electronic cigarettes in the state during the pandemic. Tobacco stores are already closed in many states because they are not considered “essential” businesses. But some public health officials note that other retailers who sell cigarettes and vaping devices, such as gas stations and grocery stores, are still allowed to do so.

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