Article of Interest: Restaurants are Opening, but is it Safe to Eat Around Smokers?

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this article from The Miami Herald:

Doctors have learned a lot about COVID-19. It primarily spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth. The disease commonly affects the lungs.
When people exhale smoke from cigarettes and e-cigarettes, they release droplets into the air, just like when they cough, sneeze or speak. If the smoker has COVID-19, “exhaling cigarette smoke could potentially also spread COVID-19,” the World Health Organization said in an email to the Miami Herald.
It’s a hypothesis WHO’s team in Geneva is looking into. The team is assessing evidence for an updated meta-analysis on the possible link between tobacco, e-cigarette use and COVID-19, including secondhand smoke, a spokeswoman said.
Droplets are also released into the air when people vape and smoke cigars and hookahs, which means that if you’re close enough to smell the smoke, you’re likely inhaling their droplets, too.

The article makes the point that you can’t wear a mask while eating, so you’re especially susceptible at that time. However, anytime you smell exhaled breath from a smoker infected with COVID-19, you’re likely inhaling droplets that can infect you with the virus. How can you know they’re infected or not?  You can’t.

Read the full external article at The Miami Herald.

How sensitive are you?

Take the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI) survey:

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor! To learn more, visit the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman TILT Program website.


Article Categories: Toxic Products