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Advocate for nicotine patches for smokers, and public smoking bans, rather than Covid-19 vaccine mandates. If you don’t want to give up smoking, then please don’t expose other people to the smoke, especially for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to WHO, from February 1, 2020 to February 1, 2021, there were 2.2 million deaths attributed to Covid-19 world-wide. Cigarette smoking kills an estimated 8.7 million people per year worldwide. 1.3 million non-smokers, per year, die due to second hand smoke. Almost 2 years into the Covid-19 pandemic, there are 4.4 million deaths attributed to Covid-19 worldwide. How many of these people were high risk due to smoking? How many caught the disease due to smoke exposure? How many really died of smoking related conditions, rather than Covid-19?

Not only does cigarette smoking kill more people per year than Covid-19, but cigarette smoke blocks the immune response that is generated by the body in reaction to SARS-CoV-2 (the name of the virus which causes Covid-19).

Even short-term cigarette smoke exposure may lead to more severe Covid-19, because it reduces immune response. This is not just smokers, but non-smokers exposed to cigarette smoke: “direct exposure to [cigarette smoke] and SARS-CoV-2 infection demonstrates that short-term exposure to [cigarette smoke] in primary human airway cells from previously healthy patients who were not chronic smokers leads to increased infection”. (Purkayastha et al., 2020) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2021/08/22/short-term-exposure-to-sars-cov-2-and-cigarette-smoke-reduces-immune-response-increasing-chance-of-covid-19-infection-and-severity-of-infection/

This should not be surprising as: “Smoking harms the immune system and can make the body less successful at fighting disease. The immune system is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection and disease; it works to fight everything from cold and flu viruses to serious conditions such as cancer. Additionally, smoking is known to compromise the equilibrium, or balance, of the immune system. This increases the risk for several immune and autoimmune disorders (conditions caused when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues).https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-anniversary/pdfs/fs_smoking_overall_health_508.pdf

If you don’t want to give up smoking, then at least stop exposing other people. Smoke at home and use an air purifier machine. Above all, don’t walk and smoke or smoke with your hand out the window of a building or motor vehicle, unnecessarily exposing others. Some people simply carry their cigarette around like a hand-warmer leaving a trail of smoke behind them. Smoke your cigarette and be done with it. If you need a hand warmer, then buy a hand warmer and/or gloves.

Advocate for cigarette patches, and public smoking bans, rather than Covid-19 vaccine mandates:
The nicotine patch is an effective aid to quitting smoking across different patch-use strategies. Active patch subjects were more than twice as likely to quit smoking as individuals wearing a placebo patch, and this effect was present at both high and low intensities of counseling. The nicotine patch is an effective smoking cessation aid and has the potential to improve public health significantly.” (Fiore MC, Smith SS, Jorenby DE, Baker TB. “The effectiveness of the nicotine patch for smoking cessation”. A meta-analysis. JAMA. 1994 Jun 22-29;271(24):1940-7. PMID: 8201739. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8201739/ )

In the UK, “Smoking among young people increased by quarter during first COVID-19 lockdown: On a positive note, the study funded by Cancer Research also found an increase in the number of smokers quitting successfully.” Wednesday 25 August 2021 01:23, UK https://news.sky.com/story/smoking-among-young-people-increased-by-quarter-during-first-covid-19-lockdown-12389992

259 deaths from Covid-19 reported as of February 1, 2020 all in China https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200201-sitrep-12-ncov.pdf

2.2 million deaths reported as Covid-19 related by February 1, 2021: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20210202_weekly_epi_update_25.pdf

4.4 million deaths reported as Covid-19 related by August 22, 2021: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20210824_weekly_epi_update_54.pdf?sfvrsn=7356167a_3&download=true

The tobacco industry remains the foremost obstacle to tobacco control. State-owned cigarette manufacturers— notably, the China tobacco monopoly in the world’s largest cigarette market—pose a daunting challenge to public health. The USA, the UK, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, and Sweden, among other countries, also host powerful tobacco companieshttp://www.healthdata.org/news-release/lancet-lancet-public-health-latest-global-data-finds-nearly-8-million-deaths-smoking

IHME’s Global Burden of Disease study: 8.7 million die from tobacco use every year

The IHME – in their annual Global Burden of Disease study – estimates that 8.7 million people die prematurely from tobacco use every year. As of June 2021 these are the latest estimates and refer to deaths in the year 2019.
7.7 million of those deaths are the result of smoking, 1.3 million are non-smokers who are dying because they are exposed to second-hand smoke. (An additional 56,000 people die annually from chewing tobacco.) The majority (71%) of those who die prematurely from smoking are men….
” See: “Smoking” by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser This article was first published in May 2013; it was revised substantially in November 2019; and partly updated in June 2021. See: https://ourworldindata.org/smoking

More people globally have died from COVID-19 so far in 2021 than in all of 2020 when the viral outbreak began. The world suffered 1.88 million COVID deaths in 2020. That number has already reached 1.9 million less than halfway through this year, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.” https://nypost.com/2021/06/12/global-covid-19-deaths-this-year-surpass-2020-totals/

Smoking’s not an “epidemic”. Smoking’s worldwide, so it’s a pandemic. WHO gives slightly lower numbers. Surely the numbers are higher, however. It appears unlikely that they consider the impact of smokers at work, in restaurant-bars, or in the neighborhood on the health of non-smokers.
From WHO:
26 July 2021
Key facts
Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke…

The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year around the world. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.” https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco

The ten countries with the largest number of tobacco smokers in 2019, together comprising nearly two-thirds of the global tobacco smoking population, were China, India, Indonesia, the USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Philippines (appendix 2 pp 85–93); 341 million (30%) of 1·14 billion tobacco smokers globally lived in China in 2019.” http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/lancet-lancet-public-health-latest-global-data-finds-nearly-8-million-deaths-smoking

Arnson Y, Shoenfeld Y, Amital H. “Effects of tobacco smoke on immunity, inflammation and autoimmunity”. J Autoimmun. 2010 May;34(3):J258-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2009.12.003. Epub 2009 Dec 29. PMID: 20042314. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20042314/

Note that if you are hospitalized, you may suffer with withdrawals from smoking or caffeine. It’s another good reason to gradually reduce caffeine and to gradually eliminate cigarettes. You might even avoid illness and hospitalization that way!