THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a statement urging smokers to quit the habit to help prevent a second wave of COVID-19.

Released on Monday, the statement strongly links the effects of smoking to the primary symptoms of coronavirus.

“COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronaviruses and other diseases,” reads the notice.

“Tobacco is also a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which put people with these conditions at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, claims that smoking actually helps against contracting the virus have been proven to be unfounded, while the WHO has insisted that such unverified information be ignored.

The WHO has recommended that anyone who currently smokes considers quitting using the many methods available, such as nicotine patches.

More than 29% of Spain’s population smoke, according to recent research, with figures showing that the autonomous community of Valencia has the highest percentage of smokers.

In 2019, 29,503 people were diagnosed with lung cancer, making it the fourth most common diagnosis of cancer in Spain.

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