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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 12-15

Tobacco and COVID-19

1 Department of Chest Disease, University of Health Sciences, Atatürk Chest Disease and Chest Surgery Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of Chest Disease, Bagcilar Education and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
3 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Istanbul University, School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
4 Department of Chest Disease, Başkent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ozlem Sonmez
Department of Chest Disease, University of Health Sciences, Atatürk Chest Disease and Chest Surgery Education and Research Hospital, Ankara
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejop.ejop_52_20

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Tobacco and its products are the well-known causes of premature deaths associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as they constitute a significant risk factor that increases the tendency to respiratory system infection and other systemic infections. Active tobacco use and passive smoking increase the risk of infection. Both increase peribronchial and alveolar inflammation and fibrosis and mucosal permeability, cause inadequate mucociliary cleaning, damage to the respiratory tract epithelium resulting in fibrosis, and they adversely affect cellular and humoral immunity. Smoking has been known to increase the risk for viral infections and influenza. Similar data have been approved found for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Smoking is reported to be associated with the frequency of the disease and its severity of the clinical course. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 penetrates the cell using the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors. Such receptor proteins had been shown to increase in smoker individuals. Also, smoking facilitates penetration of the virus into the cell. The frequency of smoking and the rates of admission to intensive care, mechanical ventilation, and mortality have been also found to be higher was higher in severe cases. The risk for disease progression was found to be 14-fold higher in smokers. Further, the World Health Organization emphasized similar negative effects of hookah and new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products. It is vital to underline the adverse effects of tobacco and tobacco products and to raise awareness among the public and to make efforts to smoking on every opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public awareness campaigns during the pandemic must always accompanied by the methods and strategies to avoid active and passive smoking.

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