Smokers Risk More Severe Covid-19 Complications

By ILONA ANDREW
KOTA KINABALU: Lighting up a cigarette can be tempting for especially the young but health authorities have warned of dire consequences for smokers in light of the Covid-19 virus.

Smoke and you will face more severe complications than non-smokers if you are brought down by the virus, said State Health Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi.

The warning comes on the heels of the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Survey Among Adolescents in Malaysia (TECMA) study in 2016 which revealed that youths are likely to start smoking or vaping while still in school.

“The public, especially the younger generation, is advised not to be influenced and easily exploited by the various kinds of sneaky techniques used by the tobacco industry to encourage one to smoke,” she said in a statement issued on Sunday.

Towards this end she said the Covid-19 outbreak should serve as a lesson for smokers and an awareness for the younger generation to stay away from any kind of smoking habit to safeguard their health as well as that of their families.

Smokers seeking to quit the habit can opt for the “Stop Smoking Clinic” service offered by the State Health Department (JKNS), available in 23 government hospitals and 58 health clinics across the state.

On another note, Christina once again stressed that the drop in Covid-19 cases does not imply that the pandemic has come to an end, and that the public should continue practising the new norms.

She said the virus could spread again after just one case if the public was not careful and does not take the matter seriously.

As of May 30, a total of 7,366 people were still undergoing home quarantine while 1,236 were placed at 48 quarantine centres across the state.

Two more premises in Sandakan were ordered to shut down on Saturday for failing to implement social distancing.

Both the stores were among the 886 premises inspected by authorities from the JKNS and relevant agencies in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19.

The premises were closed under Section 18(1)(f) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1998.