Smoking and drinking weaken the immune system and therefore could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines against diseases such as flu and coronavirus, according to a senior Turkish doctor.
Dr Cevdet Erdol from the University of Health Sciences in Ankara, the Turkish capital, told Anadolu Agency on Saturday that the consumption of tobacco and alcohol is harmful to health and could negatively affect treatments, adding that cigarette smoke alters immune responses.
“In studies done over 40 years ago using methods simpler than today’s techniques, the immune response after vaccination in smokers has been shown to be weak,” Erdol said.
Erdol said an ongoing study in Australia found that “smokers were significantly more susceptible to epidemic flu than non-smokers. In these studies and others like it, there is strong evidence that smoking weakens the immune response. “
Another study, he said, found that exposure to cigarette smoke impairs “the ability to form memory cells which are essential for maintaining the protective immune response induced by vaccines.”
“Alcohol consumption has also been scientifically proven to disrupt the targeted immune stimulation obtained by vaccines,” he added.
“As the deficiencies of the immune system concern basic functions, the same results are also valid for the process of vaccination against COVID-19. Alcohol consumption causes the liver to grow fat and impair liver function, and both conditions negatively affect the course of COVID-19. ” he added.
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