It is now known that the current coronavirus epidemic is causing respiratory damage that can be serious and even fatal for smokers. Experts also point out that there is also a risk to their environment from passive smoking, as the smoke emitted from an infected person may contain virus particles that can be infectious.
The warning came from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed a link between smoking status and the risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19, which either requires artificial respiration or resuscitation or leads to death.
This is due to the fact that smoking weakens the immune system and lung capacity and that smokers regularly put their fingers, which may carry the virus, in their mouth, which is a common entry point for the virus. Also because of the cough associated with smoking, there is also a higher risk of infecting those nearby. In fact, smokers infected with the corona virus can act as potential major “spreaders” through passive smoking. Because of their frequent coughing, but also because of the presence in tobacco smoke of particles to which the virus adheres, which can then be inhaled by those around them.
At least ten meters away
According to the French National Committee Against Smoking (CNCT) the particles in the vapor exhaled from vapers infected with coronaviruses are potential carriers of the virus and can cause passive and ultrapassive vapor contamination, just like smoking. Ultra-passive smoking occurs when tiny tobacco smoke particles remain suspended in the air or settle on surfaces. Potentially infectious particles can be deposited on furniture, carpets, clothing and can be inhaled and/or swallowed, especially by small children.
And although it is more difficult to determine whether vapers are more frequently affected and/or have heavier forms of COVID-19 than non-smokers, there is scientific evidence that this dependence on vaping affects their respiratory function. In order to avoid smoking and passive smoking, smokers have already had to smoke far away from non-smokers. As clouds of smoke and water vapor are detected within a radius of up to 10 meters, smokers must stay at least 10 meters away from the nearest person.
There is no evidence that smokers are already protected
In this spirit, it is encouraged that smokers and vapers stop smoking as soon as possible to protect themselves and those in their environment. Otherwise, they should not smoke or vape at home and when they go outside, they must walk alone and at least 10 meters away from the nearest person.
Additionally, the French Alliance Against Tobacco states that there is no data that suggests that smoking can act as a barrier against infection. This hypothesis has emerged in connection with the publication of figures showing a fairly low proportion of smokers among patients in intensive care. However, this finding should be treated with caution because these figures, which are very low compared to the known smoking rate, must also be analyzed in relation to the average age of the patients in question.