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Smoking, alcohol and COVID-19

Over the last six months we have been hearing from the Ministry of Health to stay away from smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages as it could make recovery more challenging should a smoker contract Covid-19.  Love News spoke with Dr Marvin Manzanero who explained why the smoking of cigarettes and other drugs could make life difficult should the smoker contract the virus.

Over the last six months we have been hearing from the Ministry of Health to stay away from smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages as it could make recovery more challenging should a smoker contract Covid-19.  Love News spoke with Dr Marvin Manzanero who explained why the smoking of cigarettes and other drugs could make life difficult should the smoker contract the virus.

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: ” The more you drink the more likely your risk is going to be ,that’s like cigarette smoking as well the more cigarettes you smoke the more likely it is you’re gonna have some level of damage. So for a cigarette smoker, because there’s two separate mechanisms that you’re looking at, for cigarette smokers there’s obvious damage to the pulmonary function the lung itself so that’s a predisposing condition that can complicate your COVID situation if you do become infected as has been the case with people who have what’s called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease so that’s a risk factor. In terms of alcohol it’s because people who consume a lot of alcohol are more likely to have immunocompromise that means their defenses are lower but also when you’re doing socializing with drinking and for example in bar situations you’re more likely to let your guard down if you will, your prevention measures start to wean away on themselves you are not likely to be wearing a mask, you might socialize with people who are not in your immediate social circle and so your risk becomes exposed in that situation. So alcohol and cigarettes would both have situations that can minimize your level of immunity and that’s the reason why they’re not being recommended and of course depending on levels of socialization you have because if you’re drinking also if you’re smoking you’re not going to be wearing a mask and if you’re doing outside of a circle away from home then you can understand that the risk is there.” 

Dr Manzanero goes on to say that while the lungs will never fully regenerate, quitting smoking could significantly improve the smoker’s health.

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Every patient is going to be different but one day that you’re off without cigarette smoking you can consider it as a positive step towards getting somewhere. There’s talks that eventually your lungs can have some level of regeneration but they never really go back to being to where they were had you not smoked. So that’s one situation that I think you can take a look on. I can’t say nothing’s going to happen if I continue to smoke then I don’t garner no benefit over the next three months I don’t think we should look at it like that. Just like with alcohol you know one day that you take without being without alcohol or cigarettes it’s a plus for you not only in terms of COVID-19 there are other risk factors that we can talk about; your risk of having a stroke is going to be higher if you have high blood pressure then you have added layers that just compounded by cigarettes and alcohol and other drugs because those are the more common ones but we can start talking about whatever people smoke as well.”