Smokers Are More Likely To Face Serious Complications From COVID-19

You might want to think twice before you light up a cigarette, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

smokers are more likely to face serious complications from covid-19Photo: nensuria

Based on an analysis done by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the number of deaths due to COVID-19 was higher among smokers than there are among non-smokers!

According to Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the smoking history and non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors conducted on 86 of the 115 COVID-19 deaths in Malaysia have revealed that 19.8 per cent (17 deaths) were among smokers.

“The analysis also found that for COVID-19 deaths with no history of chronic diseases but were smokers, the number of deaths was higher in this group compared to non-smokers (17.6 per cent compared to 12.1 per cent),” he said during his daily press conference yesterday (31 May).

While smoking has long been seen as a contributing factor to many diseases, especially ones concerning our respiratory system, smokers are also more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.

“Smoking impairs lung function, therefore making our body more susceptible to the coronavirus and other infectious diseases,”

An estimated 21.3 percent of Malaysians are smokers, based on the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS 2019), putting them at higher risk for further complications related to the deadly virus.

“If we look at infection among smokers, once they contracted COVID-19, we know the complications or categories will be between one to five, it is higher compared to non-smokers,” he said.

“Our advice to the public is to quit smoking. If we can quit smoking, then our health will be better, for sure.”

Now that we’ve heard it directly from the horse's mouth, let’s all strive to lead a healthier lifestyle by kicking that smoking habit away.

By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya