Although we follow the rules of "mask, distance and hygiene" in order to avoid the pandemic that affects the world, some bad habits make all these efforts frustrated. The most important of these is the use of cigarettes and tobacco products. All over the world in order to raise the awareness of the society against the harms of smoking. 9 February World Stop Tobacco Day and is seen as an opportunity to start a new life for those who want to quit smoking.
Acıbadem Taksim Hospital Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tulin SevimStating that quitting smoking will be a very important step in both protection from Covid and stepping into a healthy life in this life-threatening process of Covid-19 infection, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) with the misconception that they are less harmful in society Emphasizes that the risk of -19 increases 5 times. Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim made important warnings and suggestions in her statement as part of the 9 February World Smoking Cessation Day.
Tobacco products such as cigarettes, hookahs, cigars, pipes and electronic cigarettes contain more than five thousand chemicals (poisons). These chemicals damage all of our cells and age our cells. The lungs, heart and veins are among the organs most affected by tobacco use. The defense mechanisms in the airways of smokers are impaired and the immune system is weakened; Stating that for this reason, respiratory tract infections are more common in smokers than non-smokers and that they progress more severely, increasing the risk of death. Dr. Tülin Sevim summarizes the relationship between smoking and Covid-19 as follows: “Covid-19 infection affects the lungs the most. The deterioration of defense mechanisms in the airways of smokers and the weakening of the immune system increase the risk of Covid-19 like other infections. When the Covid-19 virus enters the body, it binds to ACE2 receptors. The high level of receptors in the mouth and airways of smokers also makes it easier to catch the disease and causes it to be more severe. "
Smoking triggers chronic diseases
In addition, since those who use cigarettes and tobacco products take their hands to their mouth, lips and face more often, the risk of disease transmission increases due to this behavior. Sharing hookah or electronic cigarettes among users in social settings, and seizing cigarettes or cigarette packs from hand are also seen as an important factor that increases contamination. Many studies show that people who smoke and tobacco products have higher rates of severe illness, intensive care, intubation requirement, and mortality compared to those who have never smoked. Pointing out that another reason why Covid-19 infection is more severe in smokers is additional diseases, Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim said, “Tobacco causes damage not only in the lungs but also in many organs, especially the heart and vessels. Therefore, diseases such as COPD, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension and cancer are more common in smokers. In the presence of these chronic diseases, Covid-19 is slow and the risk of death increases. " says.
Contrary to popular belief, the e-cigarette spreads poison!
Unconsciousness about the damages of electronic cigarette causes more and more people to turn to this product. Noting that especially young people are encouraged to use e-cigarettes, while electronic cigarettes also spread poison, Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim “An electronic cigarette is tried to be marketed with the claim that it is a tobacco product with reduced harm. However, there are many chemicals in the e-cigarette as well as liquefied nicotine. These chemicals include heavy metals, whose health hazards are well known, nitrosamines specific to tobacco plants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, formaldehydes, propylene glycol, ethylene glycol and flavors added to attract young people especially. Studies on health problems caused by electronic cigarettes also include Covid-19. According to a study conducted in the USA between the ages of 13-24, the risk of getting Covid-19 increases 5 times in those who use e-cigarettes, ”he warns.
Passive smoking increased!
Social isolation experienced during the pandemic period, curfews, worries caused by the disease, a sense of helplessness, psychological pressures can trigger the desire to smoke. Stating that during this period, the risk of passive smoking at home increased as the families were together longer at home, Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim says: “Children and young people see their parents, whom they take as examples, smoking more easily. For these reasons, it is very important to explain the harms of cigarettes and tobacco products, their effects on the course of the disease, the importance of getting rid of tobacco, and encouraging people to quit smoking, especially during the pandemic period.
As soon as you quit smoking, recovery begins!
Acıbadem Taksim Hospital Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tulin Sevim“Those who quit smoking feel physically better and energetic. Their skin is rejuvenated and their sense of taste and smell improves. Their cars, houses, clothes, their breath smells better. They are relieved of the worry of exposing those around them to cigarette smoke. They start to save money, set a good example for children and young people, raise healthier children. " he speaks. Assoc. Dr. According to the information provided by Tülin Sevim, when you quit smoking, look what changes in our body?
- Blood pressure and heart rate, hand and foot temperature return to normal 20 minutes after quitting smoking.
- 8 hours carbon monoxide level in blood decreases to normal. Oxygen level is rising.
- After 24 hours, the risk of having a heart attack begins to decrease.
- After 48 hours, nerve endings begin to grow again. There is an improvement in the sense of taste and smell.
- It is easier to walk and climb stairs between 2 weeks and 3 months. Lung function increases by about 30 percent.
- Cough, fatigue and shortness of breath are reduced between 1 and 9 months. Defense mechanisms in the lungs are starting to improve, lung infections are prevented. The common cold, sore throat and headache are decreasing. Concentration is increasing.
- After 1 year, the risk of coronary artery disease is halved compared to smokers. There is no fear of having chest pain in the morning.
- After 5 years, the risk of death from lung cancer is halved. The risk of stroke is the same as that of nonsmokers. Mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreatic cancer risks are reduced.