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Category: Covid-19 And TC
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What you need to know:

As the Covid-19 pandemic begins its sixth month in Kenya, we need to deploy all the arsenal available to us. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidelines on how to stay safe and these are aptly repeated and emphasised several times daily in the media.

We know that Covid-19 has worse outcomes in people with comorbidities (pre-existing conditions) such as hypertension, diabetes, lung conditions and cancers due to, among other factors, decreased immunity.

There is, however, an area in prevention that has been left out. Tobacco consumption has been recognised as one of the worst risk factor for many diseases and conditions, including lung cancers, non-communicable diseases (NCDs,) pneumonia and worsening of asthma and generalised ill-health.

The WHO recommends cessation of smoking as a strategy to reduce severe consequences of the coronavirus disease. The Health ministry has set guidelines on cessation of smoking and the services have been integrated in the primary healthcare services in hospitals and are available.

Cessation of smoking can reduce the risk of secondary smokers (tobacco environmental pollution) and third-hand smokers, which affects young children at home when the parents are primary smokers during this period.
Covid-19 is primarily a lung disease; so, a damaged lung due to excessive exposure to tobacco’s many lethal carcinogens and other toxic chemicals has poor defence when attacked by the virus.

Some African countries have banned smoking and the sale of cigarettes as a mitigating factor against the Covid-19.

Kenya may not go that direction but it owes the citizens a duty — as directed by the Tobacco Control Act No. 4 of 2007 — to inform, educate and communicate on the dangers of tobacco use and encourage them to stop smoking.
Health ministry officials, in their Covid-19 daily updates, should urge the about 2.7 million Kenyans smokers to stop smoking.

Source: NATION