María Elena Contreras Palú1* and Livia Maria Mugia Perez2
Received:July 18, 2022; Published: July 29, 2022
*Corresponding author: María Elena Contreras Palú, Faculty of Health Technology, Assistant Professor Cerro Municipality,University of Medical Sciences of Havana, Cuba
Introduction: Smoking is a disease that causes death to thousands of people
in the world, being a legal consumption product with a high risk of death for those
who contract the Coronavirus SARS-COV-2 that causes the pandemic. Due to the
confinement situation, research shows an increase in cigarette consumption in the
youth population, which is not exempt, young people in the health sector, professionals
and students in this sector.
Objective:To identify the level of perception of risk of mortality in young smokers in the health sector in the face of the spread of the SAR COVID-2 virus that causes the disease COVID-19. Development: current or previous smoking is a risk factor for a more critical evolution of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection.
Conclusion: Due to the psychological reactions experienced by many adolescents and young people such as: anxiety, depression or intense stress, among others, due to the pandemic, there is an increase in tobacco addiction, in young professionals and students in the health sector, being necessary to adopt integrating actions between the academy and public decision makers, from raising awareness of risk perception to restrictive measures that allow the reduction of smoking in young people and especially in health professionals and students, exemplary behavior is required for greater professionalism, benefits for your health and the decrease in contagion of the SAR-COV-2 coronavirus; cause of COVID-19.
In the world more than eight million people die each year. More than seven million of these deaths are due to direct consumption of tobacco and approximately 1.2 million to second-hand smoke to which non-smokers are exposed. Various risk factors have been pointed out as being responsible for the worse evolution of the disease. These include: age, male sex, suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, chronic respiratory, cardiovascular and debilitating diseases of the immune system. Smoking has also been indicated as a risk factor . It is understood that in the face of the complex situation caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, the challenge faced by Medical Sciences universities to expand their ability to control tobacco use is a vital necessity due to the growing demand for virtuous professionals, capable of promote actions of healthy behaviors and prevention attitudes. that contribute to reducing the number of infections in the face of the current global health crisis. Taking into account the above arguments, the authors of this publication have the following objective: to identify the level of perception of risk in smoker health professionals in the face of the spread of the SAR COVID-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
For at least twenty years, mortality associated with smoking has been considered a global epidemic that is growing and threatening public health in many countries around the world. Today, diseases related to tobacco use are the leading cause of preventable disease and mortality worldwide. Tax revenues do not offset the health costs of smoking; becoming one of the greatest challenges for public health: the reduction of diseases and the reduction of the economic costs caused by tobacco consumption . In any case, there is evidence in favor of the association between active smoking and greater severity of this disease. Thus, smokers with COVID-19 have more respiratory symptoms and more frequently need admission to the Critical Care Unit and/or mechanical ventilation [3,4]. Quitting tobacco is difficult, especially with the added burden of social and economic stress that the pandemic has brought with it. There are around 780 million people in the world who say they want to quit, but only 30% of them have access to means that can help them achieve it.  It is necessary to search for strategies from awareness to the application of restrictive regulations that stimulate the discouragement of smoking, promoting the use of electronic means and affordable communication, which allows the acquisition of knowledge and awareness of a healthier lifestyle. The actions of addictive consumption are very complex. Smoking addicts are able to assimilate the product in the quantities that their body demands without taking into account the price of cigarette packs, even if this means depriving them of other more necessary resources.
In infection with COVID-19, not only active smoking must be taken into account, but also so-called passive smoking, in those people who inhale second-hand and third-hand smoke.  Although published in the press, scientific criteria The French, supported among others by the health authorities of Mexico and Argentina, assert that any scenario where cigarette smoke circulates must be avoided, since the virus can be transported through smoke, that is, a passive smoker, who inhales what expired by the active smoker, could be infected. That is why it is recommended to take an even greater distance than recommended and not smoke with other people present, especially if you are in a closed environment. They also assert that, since smoking implies bringing the fingers and the hand to the lips, it increases the possibility of transmission of the virus from the hand to the mouth. What makes both the conventional cigarette and the electronic cigarette, are potential transmitting agents of COVID-19 . During the investigation of COVID-19 cases, we were able to observe that smoking in young students and health professionals has increased despite knowing the risks they cause to their health and that of their families, many state that they feel anxious , that the uncertainty of the pandemic scares him, especially those who have been linked to direct care with patients sick with COVID, or have lost or had a sick person among their family and friends. Despite the educational work that is carried out and the restrictions, they state that the desire is very strong. They say that this calms and relaxes them despite knowing the danger to their health and the expenses that this consumption causes them. Another element that they do not take into account is that they are the promoters of healthy lifestyles for the population they serve or will serve and that due to their functions as public health professionals they must be resilient in the face of adversity in order to have strength and promote healthy well-being through promotion and prevention of diseases including addictions.
It is necessary to intensify the motivation for smoking cessation and reduce learning, mainly in adolescents and young people; thus, how to prevent smoking and make use of the opportunity to face both pandemics, with PS and their managers playing a fundamental role. Multisectoral actions are required, where the University currently plays a fundamental role, meaning the Addiction Research Department of the Medical Sciences University of Havana (CEDRO). Ways for adolescents and young people on how free time can be used, with various suggestions such as: avoiding excess stressful information (infodemic), measures aimed at protection, before contagion, being optimistic and getting over yourself, control of negative emotions , breathing exercises, relaxation, meditation, activities that we find pleasant, crafts, dance, among others; try to manage activities that are rewarding and help control negative emotions, in addition to seeking psychological help with mental health professionals, it can be by telephone or other alternatives, which allow you to achieve psychological well-being and quality of life despite the social situation we are going through and the pandemic. In this period the lessons learned: that smoking or the consumption of other addictive substances, far from relieving us to relax or forget the situation we are going through, we create a serious health problem, which affects our well-being and that of our family and on the other hand seek Specialized psychological care if required.
Due to the psychological reactions that many adolescents and young people experience, such as: anxiety, depression or intense stress, among others, as a result of the pandemic, there is an increase in tobacco addiction in young professionals and students in the health sector, making it necessary to adopt Integrative actions between the academy and public decision makers, from raising awareness of risk perception to restrictive actions that allow the reduction of smoking in young people and especially in health professionals and students; Exemplarity is required for greater professionalism in their work as health promoters.