SOLOPOS.COM – Illustration of stopping smoking (Healthmeup.com)
Solopos.com, SOLO–Smoking increases the risk of Covid-19 disease. Heavy smokers are high in content because the cigarette smoke produced contains inflammatory cells that reduce the body’s ability and body defenses. In addition, smoking also triggers heart disease, which is the number one comorbid risk of Covid-19 fatality.
Cardiologist at Siloam Hospitals Lippo Village, dr. Vito Anggarino Damay, said smoking and laziness to move around during the Covid-19 pandemic worsened the body’s condition. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, many people did not go to the hospital for their health checkup because they were afraid of contracting Covid-19.
In fact, health checks are important to control the risk of non-communicable diseases caused by smoking such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and others.
“The most at risk are heavy smokers because the smoke contains inflammatory cells which cause our body’s ability to decrease and our defense capacity decreases,” said Vito, in a virtual talkshow held by the Ministry of Communication and Information and the Committee for Handling Covid-19 and Economic Recovery. National (KPC PEN), Monday (9/11/2020).
A similar sentiment was also conveyed by the Chairman of the Indonesian Lung Doctors Association (PDPI), dr. Agus Dwi Susanto. According to him, the potential for smokers to contract Covid-19 could be two to three times higher than non-smokers. This is because the number of ACE 2 receptors or the attachment site for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the respiratory tract of smokers is more than nonsmokers.
Not only that, cigarette smoke also reduces the body’s immunity, especially in the respiratory tract immunity. In fact, the immune system is important in inhibiting viral and bacterial infections.
“Because the ingredients in cigarette smoke are proven to interfere with the migration process of various immune cells while fighting the infection,” said Agus, as reported by Covid-19.go.id, August 13, 2020.
Another cause of smokers’ high risk of Covid-19 has to do with comorbids. Smokers have a higher potential for co-morbidities and contracting Covid-19 is greater than smoking. Comorbids such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes increase the risk of fatalities for Covid-19.
“Based on the literature, the risk of Covid-19 occurring in smokers is quite high. So if the smoker is infected with Covid-19 and dies, that’s around 25 percent, “said Agus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that some scientific evidence suggests smoking is associated with increased disease severity and mortality in hospitalized Covid-19 patients. However, population-based studies are needed to measure the severity and risk of inpatient smokers with Covid-19.
“Given the well-established dangers associated with tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, WHO recommends that tobacco users stop using tobacco,” WHO wrote on the official who.int website, June 30, 2020.
Vito continued that reducing the fatal risk of heart disease and Covid-19 can be done by continuing to do physical activity. When the body moves, the body’s immune cells will run more smoothly. “If we move, the heart pump is also better. So in the end we really do keep the whole body strong to face disease and prevent heart disease too, “he said.
Some other tips that can be done at home include taking a walk after sitting for 30 minutes. This reduces the risk of varicose veins. Then, eat nutritious food and exercise diligently while adhering to health protocols such as wearing a mask, keeping your distance and avoiding crowds and washing your hands with a mask.