The Kelantan government has advised Malaysians to quit e-cigarettes or vapes as they could face a much higher risk of getting COVID-19
State Housing, Local Government, and Health Committee chairman Dr Izani Husin said the advice is based on survey results. He, however, did not specify which surveys.
"Those who use e-cigarettes plus conventional cigarettes are seven times more likely to be infected than those who do not use e-cigarettes," he was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.
"Therefore, we must love ourselves and our families by stopping cigarettes or vape."
He also promoted the 2021 World Without Tobacco Day, which falls on 31 May, and asked members of the public to support the awareness campaigns to stop using vapes.
It is learned that vapes have become among the most popular e-cigarettes used by teenagers and young adults in the state.
A study conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) found that smokers are two times more likely to develop a more severe COVID-19 complication
The study was done after collecting data from 5,889 COVID-19 patients between 1 February 2020 and 31 May 2020.
Out of the total COVID-19 patients, 13.5% of them were smokers. It is reported that they were more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 complication with level three to level five severity as compared to non-smokers.
Level four severity COVID-19 patients required ventilators, while level five severity COVID-19 patients were labelled as in critical condition.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the same in September last year, saying, "Tobacco users have a higher risk of being infected with the virus through the mouth while smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products."
"If smokers contract the COVID-19 virus, they face a greater risk of getting a severe infection as their lung health is already compromised."
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