This led to Public Health Wales (PHW) calling on the smoker to stop saying “there has never been a more important time to stop smoking”.
They also say there is an increased risk for children who are affected by second-hand smoke when adults light up around them.
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The data comes from a small study in China that PHW and Public Health Engand called “highly impactful.”
In a statement, PHW said, “Smoking is known to damage the lungs and airways – causing a series of serious breathing problems.
“The evidence clearly shows that the Covid-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which is why smokers are more at risk. A small, very powerful Chinese survey reveals that smokers with Covid-19 are 14 times more likely to develop a serious illness. “
“In addition, repetitive hand-to-mouth movement provides an easy entry route for the virus, putting smokers at increased risk of contracting Covid-19.
“If you smoke, you are not only at increased risk of developing serious illness from the Covid-19 virus, but those around you exposed to second-hand smoke, including children, are also at increased risk. “
According to PHW, once smoke-free, the body continues to repair longer without smoking. The most immediate benefits include:
- After 48 hours – Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body. Lungs begin to clear mucus and other smoking debris
- After 72 hours – breathing becomes easier when the bronchi begin to relax
- After two to 12 weeks – The blood circulation improves, which facilitates physical activity such as walking and running
To help me reduce your risk of contracting the virus and developing serious coronavirus disease, you can get advice and assistance from an NHS expert on smoking cessation over the phone, as well as free medication, from from Help Me Quit. Look for “Help me quit” or call 0800 085 2219.
Ashley Gould, PHW public health consultant and tobacco control officer, said, “In light of this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to quit smoking. Not only for your own health, but to protect those It will also help you ease the enormous pressures on the NHS.
“It’s never too late to stop, no matter how old you are.”