The Department of Health is appealing to the public to quit smoking or vaping after they found that individuals who do so frequently are at greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
The DOH cited data from China that revealed more than 25 percent of COVID-19 patients in the country who either died, needed more ventilators, or were housed in intensive care units were smokers. “Smoking is known to weaken the immune system, making it less able to respond to infection,” said Health Special Assistant Beverly Ho during a virtual presser on Wednesday, April 8.
“The act of smoking means that the fingers and possibly contaminated cigarettes are in contact with the [smoker’s] lips, which increases the possibility of the virus to be transmitted from hand to mouth,” she added.
The DOH also urged the public to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke as it can also play a role in the transmission of the disease.
Based on government data, 42 percent of adult Filipino men are smokers. Meanwhile, a million Filipinos make use of e-cigarettes or vaping devices.
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