Drug Fight Malawi a local non governmental organization fighting against the abuse of alcohol and drug abuse say those smoking are at a higher risk of losing their lives in the event they contract the Covid 19.
Speaking in an interview after an interface meeting with several stakeholders in Lilongwe on Friday Director for the organization Nelson Zakeyu said Covid is real and that those smoking better quit now.
COVID-19 is a new disease and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness with tobacco users at a higher risk.
According to Zakeyu there is conclusive evidence that smoking increases the risk for respiratory infections, weakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes.
Said Zakeyu: “There is growing evidence that vaping can also harm lung health. There is also increasing evidence that individuals who suffer from these very same diseases are at far greater risk from COVID-19. These factors all support the conclusion that smokers, and in all likelihood vapers, are at greater risk when confronted with COVID-19, and are completely inconsistent that claims that being a smoker somehow reduces the risk of COVID-19,” he said.
According to reports tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, killing more than 8 million people around the world each year.
The reports indicate that he evidence is clear that tobacco use kills up to half of all lifetime users.
“Smokers and vapers looking to protect themselves from COVID-19 should make every effort to quit at this time as research has shown that quitting smoking rapidly improves lung function.” The reports adds.
The meeting was attended by government officials, members of non-governmental organizations as well as the media.