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If you smoke tobacco, it’s time to crush it and throw it away forever, according to health experts who warned on Sunday that it can put you at high risk of COVID-19 by lowering your immune system. Smoking impairs lung function, lowering immunity and making it more difficult for the body to fight diseases, according to experts.

According to Anshuman Kumar, Director Surgical Oncology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi, “smokers have depressed or disturbed immune systems in the form of non-specific immune defence mechanisms in the body such as natural killer cells, mast cells, and macrophages.”

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“Smoking inhibits the formation of specific defence mechanisms such as cellular (T cells, B cells), humoral circulating antibodies,” Kumar added.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said today on World No Tobacco Day, which is celebrated on May 31 every year, that smokers have a 50% higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19.

Tobacco use is a major risk factor for four non-communicable diseases (NCDs): cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Apart from these illnesses, tobacco use can harm your gums and cause a variety of gum diseases. Smokers should see a counsellor or a mental health expert, according to experts, because individually delivered smoking cessation counselling can help them quit this harmful habit.

Psycho counselling and medicinal therapy are the two main components of tobacco cessation treatment.