Home Central Asia Emerging evidence suggests smoking increases risk of Covid-19 infection: Harsh Vardhan

Emerging evidence suggests smoking increases risk of Covid-19 infection: Harsh Vardhan

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NEW DELHI: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday said emerging evidence suggests that smoking increases risk of contracting Covid-19 as well as worsens the outcome in people infected with the virus.
Speaking at the release of an e-book on tackling substance abuse and behavioral addiction in the country, Vardhan said alcohol intoxication can also increase the risk of infection and have other effects, including a reduction of immunity.
Similar effects can be anticipated with other drugs as well, he added.
Vardhan elaborated on the "emerging evidence that smoking increases risk of Covid-19 as well as worsens the outcome in people who get infected with the virus. Alcohol intoxication can also increase the risk and the other effects including a reduction of immunity can increase the risk," according to a statement by the Health Ministry.
He also highlighted the harmful association of substance use with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as well as mental health.
On the importance of addressing challenges to addiction in the times of Covid-19, he cautioned that the World Drug Report 2020 "suggests that Covid-19 can have other fallouts just like earlier economic crises have caused — users seeking out cheaper synthetic substances, a shift to more injecting, economic downturn causing the poor and disadvantaged to turn to drug use and suffer its consequences."
Vardhan laid stress on the continued need for a mass campaign to address the issue.
"This is a social issue and not limited to the medical fraternity. Individuals in public life and religious organisations should also be Read More – Source

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