Smokers are 14 times more vulnerable to contraction of coronavirus as compared with those who do not smoke, Al-Jazeera reported.
It quoted the president of Turkish Green Crescent, Professor Mucahit Ozturk, as urging smokers to quit for protecting themselves from the contagion.
“Using tobacco and tobacco products increases the risk of catching the coronavirus, therefore, avoiding all addictive substances plays an important role in protecting ourselves against the virus,” Ozturk said.
Prof Ozturk emphasised that smoking weakened the immune system and had a dire impact on coronavirus treatment as well.
“A weak immune system poses a threat to your health since it delays the treatment process and makes treatment difficult during the epidemic, even if you occasionally use addictive substances,” he said.
“Smoking can cause damage to the lungs and block the cough reflex so viruses and bacteria could stick to the airways and lungs, which could lead to serious infections.”
Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) also said smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to the virus as fingers are in contact with the lips, which increases the possibility of hand-to-mouth transmission.
European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention cited a research by Chinese doctors as per which “acute smokers are at a higher risk of dying than the elderly”.
Smokers should quit because “the human body is programmed to recover from the moment you stop smoking,” Ozturk said.