ENSP Fact Sheet Series #1/2020: “COVID-19 pandemic and smoking behavior”


Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases and kills more than 8 million people globally every year. It is well established that any kind of smoking is harmful and seriously affects the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. COVID-19 can harm cardiovascular and respiratory systems while the damage caused to the lungs by smoking makes patients more susceptible to pulmonary infections, both bacterial and viral.

A systematic review of the most recent epidemiological data from the studies already published in China, concluded that smokers suffer more severely from COVID-19, being 2.4 times more likely to be admitted to an ICU, need mechanical ventilation or die compared to non-smokers (95% CI: 1.43–4.04); it seems that their probability of having severe symptoms is also increased (Δ: 40%).

In this new fact sheet, ENSP summarized evidence for smokers and novel tobacco users and made recommendations to be followed in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

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