As Coronavirus continues to spread, it’s natural to want to calculate your risk of infection. If you’re a smoker or vaper, it’s likely your risk is higher.
Cigarette smoking or vaping can increase the risk of developing coronavirus. “Based on prior studies with other pulmonary infections, both bacterial and viral, it is highly likely that cigarette smoking and vaping will increase the risk of coronavirus pneumonia and increase its severity, though we don’t know to what extent.”
Studies showed that nicotine inhaled into the lungs of mice can delay the clearance of the influenza virus, indicating that nicotine could also delay the clearance of the novel coronavirus.
This helps explain the initial suspicion that men seemed more susceptible to the disease in the cases in China since Chinese men are more likely than women to be smokers. A World Health Organization study from 2019 found that 47.6% of Chinese men smoke, compared to only 1.8% of Chinese women.
The UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education confirmed the link in a recent article, stating: “Among Chinese patients diagnosed with COVID-19 associated pneumonia, the odds of disease progression (including to death) were 14 times higher among people with a history of smoking compared to those who did not smoke. This was the strongest risk factor among those examined.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that older Americans and people with medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic lung disease are most susceptible to coronavirus.