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Smoking Cannabis Increases the Risk for COVID-19, Doctors Warn

Doctors are warning that smoking cannabis increases the risk of the novel coronavirus. Even a small amount of cannabis can cause inflammation in the lung which reduces the ability to battle against this respiratory disease, COVID-19.

It comes after the latest news revealed that drug dealers are cashing in and selling cannabis on higher prices on the coronavirus crisis as drug users sit at home and getting full pay. Experts at the American Lung Association (ALA) have now issued a warning about cannabis users smoking it during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Expert says smoking even just a small amount of marijuana may increase the risk for the severe complication of coronavirus disease.

Chief medical officer of ALA, Dr. Albert Rizzo told that when someone smoke cannabis, it causes inflammation in the airways just like bronchitis, similar to the kind of inflammation caused by smoking cigarette. If one is having airway inflammation and on top of that gets infected, there are more chances of severe complications.

The experts say smoking cannabis makes the diagnosis of COVID-19 symptoms more difficult. The dry cough is the basic sign of the coronavirus, and cough due to smoking cannabis can mimic that symptom and hence make diagnosis more difficult.

Also read- Women Leaders Are Managing COVID-19 Better Than Most

A pulmonologist, Dr. Mitchell Glass said don’t do anything which is going to confuse the healthcare worker and hinders their ability to make a quick and accurate diagnosis. One of the US top doctors also criticized people who are smoking cannabis during coronavirus pandemic. He said it’s like driving after being drunk, as risky as that.

It was revealed last month that the cost of one ounce of weed is expected to reach around £250 in some areas of Britain, more than £100 from its usual cost. Health professionals said that not only cannabis users are at higher risk but also warned smokers as they are 14 times at higher risk of having novel coronavirus. Public Health England (PHE) said that smoking cigarettes can also put your family at higher risk.

Director of Health of PHE, John Newton said as the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic is sweeping worldwide, it is the most important time for smokers to quit smoking, not only for their health but to protect others. Smoking damages lung and airways and the novel coronavirus attack the respiratory system.

A small but impactful Chinese survey reveals that smokers are 14 times higher at risk of developing severe disease. The study focused on the factors leading to the progression of COVID-19 in patients at three different hospitals in China.

Smoking history was one of the factors identified by the study conducted between December 30 last year and January 15. According to the study age, body temperature and respiratory failure were among the factors that led to risk.

The study is published in the Chinese Medical Journal. The finding can be used in enhancing the management and fight against novel coronavirus.

The coronavirus is given an easy entry route by the repetitive hand to mouth movement by the smokers. Newton said that it is never too late to stop smoking and age doesn’t matter. The body will continue to repair if people stay smoke-free.

The elimination of carbon monoxide from the body is one of the benefits of quitting smoking and lung start clearing out mucus and other smoking debris. Bronchial tubes start relaxing and blood circulation also improves after 72 hours of quitting smoking.

Director of Policy at Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Hazel Cheeseman said it is the most important time than ever that smokers can help not only themselves but their families and also their communities by quitting smoking.

Amna Rana

Amna Rana, a writing enthusiast and a microbiologist. Her areas of interest are medical and health care. She writes about diseases, treatments, alternative therapies, lifestyles and the latest news. You can find her on Linkedin Amna Rana.

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