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Smokers are a risk group for corona

Smokers are more likely to get coronavirusHow harmful is smoking actually? We've known for years that smoking slowly slows your lungs and body, often resulting in death. But that is long-term planning, as a smoker you are not going to set your life. But now Dirk Devroey, professor at the Free University of Brussels, claims that smokers are a risk group for contracting the virus. We explain how this works on this page.

Why are smokers especially vulnerable to Corona?

Smoking paralyzes the cilia in the trachea, making it more difficult to cough out viruses. This is partly the reason why smokers more often suffer from viral diseases. COVID-19 is also a virus, so the risk of infection is higher for smokers. In addition, people with existing lung disease or with diabetes automatically belong to the risk group. Another problem is that smokers produce certain proteins in higher numbers, and these proteins make it easier for the virus to reach lung cells.

More risk and for a longer period

In addition to the increased susceptibility in smokers to the Coronavirus, the symptoms can last longer. And getting sick every day means an increased risk of death. Erika Vlieghe, Infectiologist at the University Medical Center Antwerp, sees a positive edge to this pandemic. She sees this period as an excellent opportunity to quit smoking. Not only new smokers but especially the people who have been smoking for a long time. Lung cancer is a risk for "in the future", the Coronavirus strikes much faster. In addition to these researchers in Belgium, Chinese scientists have also (cautiously) established links with smoking and Corona victims.

How can you quit smoking?

There are various methods of quitting smoking during the Corona crisis, such as therapy, nicotine patches or the e-cigarette. Group therapy or treatments of a medical nature are currently impossible or very difficult to participate in, which is why many ex-smokers opt for withdrawal methods that are easily available.