As COVID-19 cases are increasing day by day thereby disturbing our lives, a discussion on 'whether smoking and sharing a smoke makes one more vulnerable to the infection' came into the light. Nowadays people are keeping themselves locked in, maintaining social distancing, and washing their hands frequently. These people might protect themselves from the infection. However, for smokers, a normal habit of sharing their smoke has become a new health hazard in this pandemic.
After many flooded the FAQ section on the WHO website about the queries related to smoking amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, World Health Organisation informed using tobacco products, and sharing a smoke can transmit the virus between people.
It said, "as the act of smoking involves contact of fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) with the lips, which increases the possibility of transmission of viruses from hand to mouth."
About smoking waterpipes, also known as shisha or hookah, WHO said, "It often involves the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in communal and social settings."
While bringing out the vulnerability of smokers to the disease, WHO informed that the habit of smoking can increase the chances of getting COVID-19.
"Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases. A review of studies by public health experts convened by WHO on 29 April 2020 found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers", it added.
While answering a query WHO has asked smokers to take the following precautions:
If you smoke, use e-cigarettes, or use smokeless tobacco, now is a good time to quit completely.
Do not share devices like water pipes and e-cigarettes.
Spread the word about the risks of smoking, using e-cigarettes, and using smokeless tobacco.
Protect others from the harms of second-hand smoke.
Know the importance of washing your hands, physical distancing, and not sharing any smoking or e-cigarette products.
Do not spit in public places.