TOBACCO use represents the single most preventable cause of death globally caused by an array of diseases that harm nearly every organ of the body. Smoking has established acute and chronic detrimental effects encompassing cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis and oral cancer.
In Pakistan alone nearly 200,000 people die from this powerful addictive substance every year. Smoking affects the immune system in the airways, lung tissue and throughout the body. Smokers are at an increased risk of coronavirus because smoking reduces the natural protection against any infection.
A recent studying from China showed that smokers had 14 times higher risk of death from coronavirus compared to people who did not smoke. Smoking was the main reason why more men died from this virus than women as smoking rates in men were much higher.
As people, because of lockdown are staying at home and smoking inside the house, we are seeing the harmful effect of passive smoking on other family members, especially children during this pandemic.
Children who are exposed to tobacco smoke are at increased risk of acute respiratory infections, asthma and pneumonia.
Smoker must try their best to give up smoking at this health emergency faced by the entire world.
Prof Javaid Khan
Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2020