By Sarah Achen Kibisi
KAMPALA — Initial evidence suggests smoking is also a risk factor for COVID-19, with smokers having 1.91 times the odds of progression in COVID-19 severity compared to non-smokers, the World Health Organization has warned.
WHO says that Tobacco use causes a higher risk to the effects of COVID-19 for both active and second hand users and that tobacco a key cause for chronic weakening of the respiratory system which also is the body part directly affected by COVID-19.
Additionally, tobacco use contributes obstructive pulmonary diseases as well as diabetes and heart diseases.
The behaviors of tobacco users such as sharing water pipes in groups sharing both electronic and e -cigarettes, gaping and smoking near nonsmokers increase the risk of spreading the corona virus.
Equally, tobacco users have higher chances of severe suffering once diagnosed with COVID-19.
“There has never been any better time to quit smoking and individuals to protect their health by avoiding all tobacco products” said the US based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
Uganda Health Communication Alliance has urged Ugandans to comply with the Tobacco Control Act 2015 as well as follow the Tobacco Control Regulations.