Tobacco, smoking, and coronavirus do not make good bedfellows

Tabac, vapotage et coronavirus ne font pas bon ménage

Smoking tobacco and vaping increase the risk of suffering from more severe symptoms of the COVID-19 and even die from it, reveals a study published today by theEuropean Heart Journal.

This is the conclusion of researchers from the university medical Center of Mainz, Germany, University of Massachusetts, in the United States, and the University of London, Great Britain.

To get there, they have analyzed a series of studies that were already done on the harmfulness of smoking and of the three types of smoking; tobacco cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or water pipes.

Smoking and vaping, remind the authors, stiffen the arteries, cause inflammation and damage DNA, causing various health problems.

“The three forms of smoking and vaping result in an increased production of free radicals derived from oxygen in the tissues of the blood vessels. It breaks down the nitric oxide, which is released by the endothelium (the inner part of blood vessels in contact with blood), and is important for helping the blood vessels to dilate and to protect against the inflammation and clogging of the arteries,” explains the first author of the journal, professor Thomas Münzel, department of cardiology of the university medical center of Mainz.

The risks

The review of studies has shown that the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is increased by 704 % by the tobacco cigarettes, 218 % by the water pipes of 218 % and 194 % by the electronic cigarettes of 194 %.

The risk of lung cancer, it increases by 1210 % with the cigarettes, and 122 % with the water pipes. The studies on the electronic cigarette, were not considered reliable enough to draw conclusions.

The researchers then looked into the effects of smoking and vaping on the infections COVID-19.

“Smoking is a risk factor well established by itself to respiratory infections and increases the likelihood of having cardiovascular disease, it could make the patients COVID-19 more sensitive to severe symptoms, resulting in increased mortality,” noted the authors.

The study mentions that “as a basic mechanical potential for cardiovascular complications associated with the COVID-19, recent data obtained by electron microscope revealed structures of inclusion virus from the coronavirus in cells of the endothelium leading to a endothélite (inflammation of the vessels) with a consequent alteration of the function in the microcirculation”.

“There is no doubt that quitting smoking is and will remain the most effective approach to prevent cardiovascular and respiratory diseases induced by smoking. In the light of the pandemic of COVID-19, the use of tobacco products probably increases the risk of cardiovascular complications and other severe complications associated with the COVID-19 in smokers and the vapor,” says professor Thomas Münzel.


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