Concerning the role of cigarette smoke particles on aerosolization and transport of COVID-19 through face masks
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In this note the role of cigarette smoking in the aerosolization and transport of COVID-19 through face masks is considered. On one hand, it is known that COVID-19 spreads primarily through water droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks, and on the other hand it is also known from available experimental data that cigarette smoke particles are hygroscopic, i.e., they can act as active condensation nuclei and then can potentially act as aerolizer agent of COVID-19 inside the alveolar region of an infected smoker. Utilizing a diffusion model for the effect of water vapor on the growth of cigarette smoke particles it is shown that they can double its radius around saturation conditions -as expected in the alveolar region. Because cigarette smoke particles are with sizes peaked around 0.25 micron, then the resulting particle after absorption of surrounding water will have a size around 0.5 micron of radius which are quite able to pass thorough practically any face mask and in addition transporting around 50 viruses or thereabouts inside its water film. Therefore the current strict law enforcement of many government with the mandatory use of face masks when at the same time the measures are relaxed with the habit of smoking is call into question. We feel that it is appropriate to air the subject at this time and to encourage a careful investigation and measures of the subject.
CitationDe Las Heras, S.A.; Arias, F.J. Concerning the role of cigarette smoke particles on aerosolization and transport of COVID-19 through face masks. 2021.