Smoking lowers immunity, raises risk of exposure to Covid-19

<p>Lecturer at University of North Sumatra (USU), Dr. DelyuzarKed (PA), Sp.PA (K). <em>(ANTARA/HO)</em></p>

Lecturer at University of North Sumatra (USU), Dr. DelyuzarKed (PA), Sp.PA (K). (ANTARA/HO)

MEDAN – Smoking could lower immunity and increase the risk of being exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), with more acute symptoms experienced as compared to among non-smokers, University of North Sumatra (USU) lecturer, Dr. Delyuzar M. Ked (PA), Sp.PA (K), said.
"Smoking can also reduce the movement of vibrating hairs (cilia) in the respiratory tract, thereby raising susceptibility to chronic infections. Hence, if you are infected with Covid-19, you will be susceptible to respiratory tissue disorders, with more severe symptoms," he said here on Monday.
Delyuzar cautioned that smoking disrupts blood vessels and increases the risk of their narrowing that can hinder heart functioning or cause coronary artery disorders.
In addition, other blood vessel disorders could cause heart attacks, or narrowing of the heart muscle tissue or called myocardial infarction (MCI).
"The narrowing of blood vessels in the penis could cause impotence, narrowing of blood vessels in the brain could cause strokes, some could cause bleeding, blood blockage, and infark in the brain," said Delyuzar, concurrently the Covid-19 Expert Team at the North Sumatra Research and Development Center and member of North Sumatra Regional Research Council.
According to the Health Ministry’s website, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2030, some 70 percent of deaths caused by smoking will occur in developing countries, including Indonesia.
In line with the forecast, the 2010 Basic Health Research said smoking prevalence currently reaches 34.7 percent. This means over one-third of Indonesia's population are smokers.
Delyuzar expressed belief that the development of guidelines for no smoking areas is appropriate and should be on the agenda of the central and local governments. 
The implementation of these guidelines should be supported by various parties to ensure optimal application. (Antara)