Do smoking and drinking alcohol make me more likely to get sick?

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
Cigarette and cigar smokers tend to get more severe colds, flus and they get them more frequently. Smoke dries out your nasal passages, lowers your immune response and decreases your ability to sweep bacteria and viruses out of your respiratory system. It’s one toxic substance that dramatically increases your risk of getting the flu and staying sick longer. Alcohol is another toxin that increases the risk of getting sick because it dramatically suppresses the immune system. Not only that, it poisons nearly every organ system in the body, particularly the liver, which is critical for removing toxins and bacteria from the body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.