Scientists explain why smokers are more susceptible to the flu

deccan chronicle

Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing

Here's another reason to quit smoking.

Scientists explain why smokers are more susceptible to the flu. (Photo: Pixabay)

New research has shed light on why some people are more susceptible to the flu than others, the Daily Mail reported.

Studies in the past 10 years have found that being exposed to the common cold doesn't mean you will get sick.

However, why some people easily fall ill was unknown until now. A team of Yale University researchers may have identified the reason that is particularly problematic for smokers, even though we are all exposed to toxins in the air.

"We get viruses that cause diseases a lot more than we actually get sick," lead author Ellen Foxman, MD, PhD told the Daily Mail.

Adding, "Oftentimes people are getting viruses in their nasal passages but they don't get sick. What if we could find out how to make that happen more often?"

For the study, lung and nasal cells were exposed to a virus that would trigger a reaction.

"We studied the first line of defence against viral infection, which makes the difference between the virus getting killed and you not getting sick at all, or you getting sick," Foxman explained.

The study's findings reveals a combination between certain aspects of the body's defence mechanisms and "how this is exacerbated by toxins in products and the environment'”, the report revealed. While our nose has the ability to tackle toxic chemicals and viruses, it can't fight them at the same time.

If you are a smoker and want to reduce the chances of getting the flu, then you need to quit as you are far more exposed to toxic elements. "A non-smoker goes through their life with different exposures' to various chemicals in the environment," Foxman explains.

While more research is needed to understand the mechanics of it, the results bring researchers a step closer to finding out.