SMOKING significantly increases the chances of developing several deadly illnesses, a new study has revealed.
US researcher have discovered those who smoke cigarettes are 48 per cent more likely to develop respiratory illnesses like Covid, than those who don’t smoke.
This comes the number of hospital patients in England testing positive for Covid-19 has climbed to its highest level for two monthsCredit: Getty
Similarly, those who light up are 12 per cent more likely to catch viral infections like the common cold, compared with people who don’t smoke.
Lead author of the study Melanie Dove of University of California said: “Past research has shown that smoking increases the risk of Covid-19 disease severity, but the risk of infection had been less clear.
“Our study findings show smokers have an increased risk of viral infection, including a coronavirus and respiratory illness.”
The research, published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, involved an analysis of data from the British Cold Study.
The study exposed 399 smoking and non-smoking healthy adults to one of five “common cold” viruses.
The data showed that current smokers had an increased risk of all respiratory viral infection and illness.
“These findings may have implications for addressing tobacco use at the population level as a strategy for preventing Covid-19 infection,” said Professor Elisa Tong, senior author from the University of California.
There are currently around 6.9 million adult smokers in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
This comes the number of hospital patients in England testing positive for Covid-19 has climbed to its highest level for two months.
Brits have also been warned to get Covid and flu vaccines before a winter “twindemic” virus surge.
Health chiefs are worried both bugs will bounce back with a vengeance as the weather turns colder.
A source said: “It will be three years since the majority of people have had flu and we know Covid immunity wanes, too.
“It’s the first winter with Covid but with no restrictions.”
A sharp flu outbreak in Australia, whose winter happens during our summer, has raised fears the same will happen in the UK.
What are the current symptoms of Covid?
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE Covid study, recently issued an update on the most common symptoms being logged on the ZOE Covid Study app.
The following 10 symptoms were the most common:
- Sore throat
- Cough (no phlegm)
- Blocked nose
- Runny nose
- Cough (with phlegm)
- Hoarse voice
- Muscle pains and aches
Covid-19 infections in the UK have risen 72 per cent since last month, according to the latest figures by the ZOE app.
There are currently an estimated 176,090 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK, while the Office for National Statistics Infection Survey suggests around one million people are currently infected.