While it is too early to get definitive evidence, a study from China published online in the Chinese Medical Journal, involving 78 patients with Covid-19, found that those with a history of smoking were 14 times more likely to develop pneumonia which is the most severe complication of this infection and the most common cause of death.
Smokers may also be more likely to get infected and spread it to others.
I would encourage everyone to stop smoking immediately to protect themselves and their loved ones.
They may also help the community as they may free up hospital beds for other sick (non-smoking) patients.
While vaping may be less harmful, it is not without risks.
Dr David Buckley
The Ashe Street Clinic
This readers’ opinion will be published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on March 24, 2020.
- The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
- Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
- GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
- ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024