American Lung Association: Smokers More At Risk For Contracting COVID-19


Tuesday, March 31st 2020, 6:03 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


Respiratory experts are warning smoking can increase your chances of getting coronavirus (COVID-19).

The American Lung Association said smoking anything, whether that's cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or marijuana may put you at a much higher risk to contract COVID-19.

"We consider every type of inhaled substance a risk factor," said Rebecca Knox, the respiratory therapist program director at Rose State College in Midwest City.

She's also a board member for the American Lung Association.

She said people who smoke are at a higher risk already, because they might have lung damage.

"Anytime you inhale anything, your body responds to that," Knox said. "It's not normal to have a substance into your lungs."

She said it not only makes it harder to fight off the virus, because smoking affects your immune system.

"It affects the lining of your trachea that removes mucus and keeps bacteria from getting in the lining," Knox said.

It also can worsen symptoms of COVID-19, like a complication called Acute Respiratory Distress syndrome caused by lung disease, which Knox said can be deadly.

Knox said you can also increase your risk of exposure to the virus by constantly touching your mouth and your hands when you hold a cigarette or vape pen.

"You're exposing yourself, because of the transmission, you're touching yourself and the device," she said.

A New England journal of Medicine study found people who smoke are about 2.4 times more likely to suffer worse symptoms from COVID-19.

And Knox said there is still a lot of research to be done, but she said it's best to quit smoking anything if you want to make your risk of getting the virus lower.

The American Lung Association says people often smoke after long days at work, so social distancing can offer people a good time to quit. 

For more tips from the association, click here.

","published":"2020-03-31T23:03:50.000Z","updated":"2020-03-31T23:44:20.000Z","summary":"The American Lung Association said smoking anything, whether that's cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or marijuana may put you at a much higher risk to contract COVID-19.","affiliate":{"_id":"5c784a0c4961cb23ad330098","callSign":"kotv","origin":"https://www.newson6.com"},"contentClass":"news","createdAt":"2020-04-07T22:04:33.269Z","updatedAt":"2020-05-05T14:50:04.221Z","__v":0,"show":true,"link":"/story/5e8cf8f1fa8ed3749a62c5c0/american-lung-association:-smokers-more-at-risk-for-contracting-covid19","hasSchedule":false,"id":"5e8cf8f1fa8ed3749a62c5c0"};