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Smoking increases risk x 14

(74 Posts)
ivykaty44 Mon 06-Apr-20 09:43:19

Of getting this virus and having complications

So why isn’t more being done to stop people smoking? Free patches being given out etc

OP’s posts: |
goingoverground Mon 06-Apr-20 14:00:34

Where is the evidence that smokers are less likely to catch the virus?

There isn't conclusive evidence either way yet.

However, the virus infects us by binding to ACE-2 receptors. Smokers may have more or less ACE-2 receptors in their lungs depending on which study you read. If it is less, that would offer some protection.

www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m1087/rr-0

MorrisZapp Mon 06-Apr-20 14:06:09

Who said fourteen times the risk?

Kamma89 Mon 06-Apr-20 14:17:30

To the poster up thread saying quitting now will make no difference, that's absolute garbage! When you have an operation they tel you even a week smoke free puts you in a much better position for the anesthetic etc. The lungs heal remarkably quickly & of course reversing the majority of damage will take a while but every little really does help in this situation.

Spacecadetagain Mon 06-Apr-20 14:29:06

Smoking damages the small hairs (cilia) that keep the airways free from dust/bacteria etc etc so as soon as you give up smoking those hairs start to recover ... this is why smokers have a cough as the cough is what moves all the junk out of the lungs .. so you are more likely to develop complications if respiratory illnesses as a smoker but even a couple of days into giving up the lungs are already recovering so it’s never too late .

Randomschoolworker19 Mon 06-Apr-20 14:37:40

Smoking is an addiction and like any addiction it makes you make unhealthy life style choices.

If quitting smoking were so easy, a lot more people would be doing it, wouldn't they?

It wouldn't surprise me though if smokers were more vulnerable to COVID-19. Smoking practically makes you more vulnerable to a whole host of other illnesses.

It's part of the big five that kills people prematurely, the other four being:
-Loneliness / depression
-Alcoholism
-Substance abuse
-Obesity.

SnoozyLou Mon 06-Apr-20 14:43:22

Bc the lung damage has already been done so stopping now wouldn't help. (I believe longer term it would help, but we've got the coronavirus pandemic NOW.)

No. We've got the start of it now, but we could potentially have to live with this threat for many months, if not years. It is worth stopping.

Bluebooby Mon 06-Apr-20 14:49:17

Smoking really is an addiction. It should be as easy as just stop smoking but for many it really isn't. We all know the risks. I'm considering trying champix but worried about the possible side effects on mental health.

SnoozyLou Mon 06-Apr-20 14:49:48

Smoking damages the small hairs (cilia) that keep the airways free from dust/bacteria etc etc so as soon as you give up smoking those hairs start to recover ... this is why smokers have a cough as the cough is what moves all the junk out of the lungs .. so you are more likely to develop complications if respiratory illnesses as a smoker but even a couple of days into giving up the lungs are already recovering so it’s never too late .

This. The amount of horrible, black shit I coughed up in the weeks after stopping. 20 years worth of shit on my lungs. If someone ends up in hospital, they'll have all that crap in their lungs already, then CV on top. And the cherry on top of the icing - there'll be no smoking either.

ThursdayLastWeek Mon 06-Apr-20 14:51:53

A PP nailed it.

Smokers pay a heavy tax for their habit, tax that the govt can’t afford to refuse for many years to come now!

Butterymuffin Mon 06-Apr-20 15:14:16

It's well known that smoking raises your risk of all sorts on other conditions. And the government offers lots of help already. What else could they do other than banning it, which would cause other problems as pp have said?

Mawbags Mon 06-Apr-20 15:59:33

@SnoozyLou
I smoked for years and only stopped a few months ago.

I didn’t ever cough up junk

Is that good? (Lungs maybe not too damaged) or

Bad.... (all that stuff still down there)

oralengineer Mon 06-Apr-20 16:18:55

Lots of conflicting evidence re smoking. I suspect it may be due to complex health issues around smoking such as diet, drinking habits and general attitude to health so singling out smoking is a little too simple.
I have read a couple of papers regarding ACE2 and cilia involvement but it’s all theory and since the virus has only been around for 4 months no long term studies are available.
I’m not sure where the 14x figure has come from. I have access to live scientific evidence being shared worldwide, and smoking does not appear to be a hot topic. Age and co-morbidities are really the high risk problems.

lazylinguist Mon 06-Apr-20 16:25:13

If the long list of damage and horrible diseases caused by smoking doesn't deter someone from doing it, I don't really see why an increase in the likelihood of succumbing to Covid 19 will. People choose to continue smoking in spite of the risks. And, as a pp said, if they can afford cigarettes they can afford patches.

MashedSpud Mon 06-Apr-20 16:33:43

Smoking and drinking have an impact on the immune system.

I’m sure people are aware of this but if they want to continue doing so I couldn’t care less. It’s not affecting me or my family.

AmelieTaylor Mon 06-Apr-20 16:41:33

Every day you’re a ‘non smoker’ will help.

You might not get it for a month or more-imagine how much better your lungs would cope

I’m glad I never started smoking as I’m sure it’s incredibly difficult for most people to stop.

I can’t think of anything at all I can really do...but I’d like to offer support to anyone who wants to stop if anyone can think of anything that would help them?!

SnoozyLou Tue 07-Apr-20 00:11:18

*@SnoozyLou
I smoked for years and only stopped a few months ago.

I didn’t ever cough up junk

Is that good? (Lungs maybe not too damaged) or

Bad.... (all that stuff still down there)*

Mine started clearing within a few weeks. I did have a cold, but was coughing up mouthfuls of brown and black gunk. I did smoke an awful lot through - a couple of packs a day at one point. And I did get bronchitis repeatedly - always has a cough. I can't believe I was stupid enough to carry on for as long as I did.

BigChocFrenzy Tue 07-Apr-20 01:24:06

UK govt / NHS:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/smokers-at-greater-risk-of-severe-respiratory-disease-from-covid-19

Emerging evidence from China shows
smokers with COVID-19 are 14 times more likely to develop severe respiratory disease

PotholeParadise Tue 07-Apr-20 04:06:19

Iwantacookie

Because the amount of shit that I hack up after a few weeks of not smoking wouldn't go well with coronavirus.
I'm desperately trying to quit but with so much stress it's hard especially in these times and to be honest I dont have the motivation now.
Think of it the same as a drug addict. Until they want to stop they cant.

The post-quitting cough is your lungs healing. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but this is actually true.

Your lungs are lined with tiny hairs called cilia, whose function is to sweep anything harmful up and out of your lungs. Anything harmful includes viruses. Remember this.

Unfortunately, the chemicals in cigarettes paralyse the cilia, and smokers' lungs become lined with filthy gunk that was never expelled. As well as making your internal organs the living equivalent of a flat that hasn't been redecorated since the 1970s, this makes smokers characteristically more vulnerable to respiratory diseases, because firstly, the cilia can't sweep anything you breathe in back out, and secondly, that filthy mucus, that has never been coughed up, is a wonderful breeding ground for opportunistic viral and bacterial incursions.

This coronavirus is a new respiratory virus. It will be especially shit for smokers, just like all the others that already exist are. Seriously. Get some nicotine patches.

crazydiamond222 Tue 07-Apr-20 04:26:05

The 14 times comes from a Chinese study and is referenced here
www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-smokers-more-likely-disease-phe-stop-smoking-a9447236.html

PicsInRed Tue 07-Apr-20 08:51:05

Smokers pay a heavy tax for their habit, tax that the govt can’t afford to refuse for many years to come now!

We've just poured over £300 billion into the economy to prevent total collapse and more will be required. If smokers have worse illness and outcomes, their tax take is now offset by the carnage of exacerbated covid. The ledger no longer balances. Cigarettes and vape are not only not essential, but are a hindrance in opposition to the nations physical and financial survival.

It we can be detained in our houses with small children for months, with little risk of serious illness ourselves, for the good of others, then smokers can quit smoking and vaping for their own good and the financial survival of the nation.

PrincessConsueIaBananaHammock Tue 07-Apr-20 09:30:26

* then smokers can quit smoking and vaping for their own good*

I don't wanna!

LangClegsInSpace Tue 07-Apr-20 10:24:11

This is the '14 times more likely' study -

journals.lww.com/cmj/Abstract/publishahead/Analysis_of_factors_associated_with_disease.99363.aspx

It's tiny - only 78 people, of whom 11 deteriorated.

27.3% of the 11 patients who deteriorated had 'a history of smoking' (so not necessarily current smokers). This is 3 patients.
3% of the 67 patients who improved or stabilised had 'a history of smoking'. This is 2 patients.

So there were 5 patients with 'a history of smoking' in the whole group of 78, or 6.4%. This is incredibly low compared with overall smoking prevalence in China.

I'm pretty disgusted that PHE have released such a strong, scaremongering statement based on one tiny study.

There are now two papers looking at preliminary data from a range of studies, including this one, and it does appear that smoking prevalence among hospitalised patients is consistently lower than among the general population, both in China and the US.

www.qeios.com/read/article/555

www.qeios.com/read/article/561

There are of course all sorts of reasons why these findings may not be accurate (NOBODY in public health wants them to be!) and the upshot is that we need to collect better data before we can conclude anything.

We don't have any data on vaping and covid19, however completely switching from smoking to vaping eliminates around 95% of the general risks associated with smoking. This is why the NHS records vapers as non smokers.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update

The WHO statement is very interesting and is about the most restrained thing they have ever said about smoking!

They say that smokers are more likely to have underlying conditions that are known additional risks for covid19
They say that the hand-to-mouth action of smoking and sharing water pipes increase the risk of infection
They very carefully do not say that smoking per se increases the risk of becoming seriously unwell

Quitting smoking is generally a very good thing to do for your health.

For some people, lockdown is the perfect opportunity to quit. For others, especially those with mental health conditions, the constant state of bored terror and being forcibly cooped up with family make this the most difficult time of all.

If you are quitting using nicotine replacement products or vaping you stand a greater chance of success if you use plenty of nicotine and don't cut down too quickly. You can double up - e.g. use a patch together with a shorter acting source such as gum, spray or vape. If you are vaping then start on a decent strength liquid and use it as often as needed (it's a much more little-and-often thing than smoking).

If you are going cold turkey lots of people find Allen Carr's 'Easy Way ...' book very helpful.

If you can get through to your GP you might be able to get a prescription for Champix but it's not suitable for everyone.

If you are finding it impossible to quit then don't panic, the data so far does not suggest that smoking itself increases your risks of severe covid19 illness. Life will not always be this stressful. There will be easier times to quit.

Pay extra attention to hand hygiene and don't share fag packets, lighters, vapes, water pipes or spliffs.

middleager Tue 07-Apr-20 10:26:25

A great post Lang and thank you for confirming the data source.

Pelleas Tue 07-Apr-20 12:31:56

If the tentative findings about smoking-related ACE2 inhibition lowering receptiveness to the virus are correct (and apologies if I have misunderstood the technicalities) this won't be publicised by official bodies. One can understand why, as the long-term damage of smoking would outweigh any temporary benefit in 99% of cases. However, that doesn't mean it's right for PHE to scaremonger in this way. If you have already sustained lung damage, there's little Covid19 related benefit to giving up now (although the long-term benefits would remain).

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