SMOKERS ARE much more likely to develop severe cases of coronavirus than non-smokers, research from China has warned.
According to a small but impactful study conducted in the Far East, people with Covid-19 who smoked were found to be around 14 times more likely to develop a severe strain of the potentially lethal virus.
Public Health England has shone a light on the findings as part of a concerted campaign to curb the number of people smoking cigarettes during the pandemic.
“Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs and airways causing a range of severe respiratory problems,” they said.
“The evidence clearly shows Covid-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk.
“A small but highly impactful survey from China finds that smokers with Covid-19 are 14 times more likely to develop severe disease.”
Public Health England also highlighted that another potential risk associated with smoking comes with the repetitive hand to mouth movement involved in the practice of inhaling from a cigarette.
Their experts believe that this repetition of movement creates a potentially easy route for the virus to enter the body.
Director of Health Improvement Professor John Newton said: "In light of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to stop smoking.
“Not only for your own health but to protect those around you. It will also help alleviate the huge pressures on the NHS. It is never too late to quit, no matter your age.”