Smoking or age group?
READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - May 29, 2020 - 12:00am

Why nobody establishes a statistic that shows the correlation between smoking and COVID-19 cases of the different gravities? I suspect that the seniors are the most affected because some of them have weakened their lungs and their immune system during longer years than the other age groups. The reason that men are affected much more than women is evident: women smoke less or not at all.

Kids, teenagers and tweens although some of them smoke a lot have not yet damaged their lungs so badly during their fewer years of life. That is why they are more resistant.

We do not discuss whether the number of cigarettes smoked is correlated with lung cancer or not because that is proven beyond doubt in countless studies of groups and organizations of all caring countries from the mid-1960s and on.

Viruses are parasites that have only one function: multiplying in living cells of a host. The mechanism by which a virus damages an organ is that it merges with the DNA of a cell creating false genetic information. Then it splits into two, four, eight etc., creating abnormal malignant cells that rob the organ of its healthy function.

The function of lungs is to capture oxygen out of the breathed air and enrich the blood with it. Healthy men and woman are also resistant to virus attacks by developing antibodies. A sick lung where a part of the cells are damaged by the about 2,000 poisonous substances contained in each cigarette cannot fulfill its role. The senior smokers’ immune system is overtaxed because for so many years it was fighting to keep out the injurious substances. It is powerless against so virulent a virus as COVID-19. The infected cough ejecting droplets containing the virus and so infect doctors, nurses, health workers, and any innocent people within a distance of one meter.

I hope the hospitals gather the data on the smoking habits of all patients. If then the analysis of those data proves that there is overwhelming correlation between smoking habits and COVID casualties then our leaders must take drastic measures in order to avoid another epidemic by the next influenza-like virus --animal-originated or man-made as a biologic weapon.

In the Philippines only President Duterte has the format and the support in the population and legislation to push through an absolute ban on production and import of the hitherto-legalized drug nicotine.

A second step is to declare illegal all forms of tobacco consume and add nicotine into Republic Act 9165 Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

A third step is to teach Philippine tobacco farmers how to plant rice.

A fourth step is to reach out to the barrios and puroks and explain the populace the irresponsible behavior of smokers causing misery, sufferings, privations, losses and killings in this time of personal and economic disaster.

Legal base for these steps is the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines Article II Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Section 15: The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.

Erich Wannemacher

Lapu-Lapu City

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