Effects of tobacco are far reaching and in West Bengal the pace of its consumption is increasing at an alarming rate. Every third person in Bengal is a tobacco consumer; men, women alike. In the present scenario of global health crisis, curbing addiction to tobacco has become more significant to avoid transmission and contraction of Covid-19.
“Smoking increases the risk of hand to mouth transmission of infection when the person is holding the cigarette or bidi etc. In case of hookah, there is a possibility of sharing which increases the chance of transmission by manifold. Also smoking reduces lung capacity which ultimately makes the person susceptible to virus infection. Chewing tobacco also increases the risk of virus spreading when the person is spitting out the gum”, said Dr Angshuman Mukherjee, Consultant – Department of Respiratory Medicine, Fortis Hospital Anandapur.
Dr Sagarika Basu, Consultant Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Fortis Hospital Anandapur said, “We all know that tobacco has an impact on heart, lungs, vascular system and also increases risk of cancer. Apart from this smoking has a significant impact on fertility of both men and women.”
Prolonged consumption can cause the following in men:
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Affect quality and quantity of sperms
- Reduces sperm motility
- Reduce ability of the sperm to fertilise eggs
For women tobacco consumption increases the rate of loss of eggs. Women are born with a definite number of eggs which gradually decline throughout her life. Once an egg is lost there is no way to create a new one. It also reduces the chance of conception. This is the reason why there is a reduced success rate of IVF in women who are smokers.
Tobacco consumption during pregnancy cause the following:
- Increases the rate of miscarriage
- Congenital abnormality of the child and growth of the baby in uterus
- Increased rate of sudden infant death
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Preterm birth