By Kabuye Ronald
The World Health Organization ( WHO) has warned that tobacco use is a key cause for chronic weakening of the respiratory system which also is the body part directly affected by COVID19.
This follows the misleading release of French statistics on an open-access website, Qeios that smokers are at lower risk of COVID-19 and by implication nicotine may offer protection from COVID-19.
In a statement issued by Caroline Renzulli, the head of international communications at the American Based Tobacco Free kids the conclusion of French statistics is inconsistent with the growing body of evidence that smokers are at greater risk of suffering more severe consequences of COVID-19, has been derived from a citation that is not part of a peer-reviewed study of any kind and does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.
In the same way Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA) national coordinator Richard Baguma Tinkasimire said besides the chronic weakening of the respiratory system, tobacco use contributes to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases as well as diabetes and heart diseases.
He added that behaviors of tobacco users such as sharing waterpipes in groups, sharing both electronic and e-cigarettes, vaping and smoking near non-smokers increase the risk of spreading the corona virus. Equally, tobacco users have higher chances of severe suffering once diagnosed with COVID19.
“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.
we urge Ugandans to comply with the Tobacco Control Act 2015 as well as follow the Tobacco Control Regulations and adherence to the health precautionary measures of preventing the spread of Corona virus by washing hands regularly with soap and water or use of alcohol
sanitizer; avoiding touching your mouth, eyes and nose; covering one’s mouth and nose with
disposable tissue or flexed elbow while sneezing or coughing; maintaining social distance of
at least two (2) meters and staying at home to reduce the risk of infection.” Reads a statement in parts issued by UHCA’ Richard Baguma.