COVID-19: Smokers and vapers are sources of the virus
Smokers and vapers are at an increased risk of contracting coronavirus due to irritation in their airways. According to the National Committee against smoking in France, they indicate that they are also important pollutants around them.
In France, smoking is the leading cause of preventable premature death. And the coronavirus epidemic does not help the situation as it leads to serious respiratory damage.
In fact, smokers are exposed to the risks of higher complications with respect to respiratory tract irritation. Another drawback is the frequency with which the fingers are brought to the mouth when they are smoking. The virus thus finds an ideal gateway to the body.
The National Anti-Smoking Committee in this country also considers smokers infected with the coronavirus "to be potentially important pollutants to those around them, due to their frequent coughing and the presence in the smoke of particles to which viruses adhere."
The same thing happens with the vapor of electronic cigarettes: "The particles present in the vapor exhaled by people infected with covid-19 are potentially carriers of the virus and can be the source of contamination by passive and ultra-passive vaping."
According to the association, these infected particles are deposited on the surfaces around the smoker and therefore can be transmitted to close people. "The clouds of smoke and vapors that circulate up to ten meters around the user are also potentially contagious"
The president of the CNCT of France, Yves Martinet, asks smokers and vapers to stop as soon as possible. "Do not smoke or vaporize in the house. If you go out, go out alone and at a minimum distance of 10 meters from everyone and from any home."
Bertrand Dautzenberg, a former pulmonologist at the Salpêtrière Hospital and a tobacco specialist at the Arthur Verne Institute, confirms the presence of danger of contact through the eyes, nose and mouth, and the expelled saliva drops that transmit covid-19. There is no doubt that smokers and vapers touch their faces more frequently than non-smokers.
And tobacco is still a product "irritating to the respiratory tract, which will be more receptive to the virus. That is why smokers are in danger." For the specialist, as for the CNCT of that country, the epidemic implies an emergency that should push all users to stop smoking and vaping.
But "if many people reduce their consumption thanks to telecommuting or the presence of young children in their homes, quitting smoking is not easy," said the tobacco specialist. "It is essential to receive prescription patches and tailor the use to your needs." In this way, hand-to-mouth contact is as limited as possible.
"Avoid consuming too much alcohol to limit the need to smoke," he advises.
Bertrand Dautzenberg wishes to mention an additional danger: the habit of smoking while putting the protective mask under the chin. "Reattaching a mask to your face after removing it for smoking is dangerous. A dirty mask becomes a vector for the virus."
If you are a fan of the classic or electronic cigarette, consider changing your mask after you have moved it to smoke or vape.