Effect of tobacco on SARS-CoV-2 transmission
2020/08/13 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
The World Health Organization and many other international health organizations have long warned that the burning of tobacco exacerbated the possible effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was mainly about two aspects: on the one hand, the risk of personal infection and infection increases with the use of cigarettes, vaporizers or pipes (repeatedly carrying hands to the mouth) and sharing them with others; and on the other hand, if infected, smokers are more at risk of developing serious symptoms.
Comparative studies between smokers and non-smokers confirm that the virus is more harmful to smokers and are clarifying the causes. Thus, the advice is clear: To protect yourself in part from COVID-19 it is convenient, among other things, to quit smoking. Some associations and organizations have also raised the need to offer alternative nicotine treatments to quit smoking.
On the other hand, it is investigated if burning facilitates the transmission of the virus through smoke. In Galicia, based on this, smoking has been prohibited on the street and on the terraces, and so far there have been studies that show that yes, that smoking increases the risk of transmission of the virus.
In fact, it is blown to expel smoke and, along with it, viruses also extend to the area. According to a study published in April in the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, aerosols containing the SARS-CoV-2 virus extend to the area not only during smoke emission, but also during coughing or sneezing. Thus, researchers conclude that smoking is a risk factor for both active and passive smokers.
In the same article, they claim the need for more studies to better understand the effect of combustion, while advising as prevention to stop smoking or smoking less; hygiene; use of single-use appliances or appliances; consider the tools and cigarettes used as contaminated materials; do not prevent smokers from being close to smokers; and smoke alone in isolated and well-ventilated places.