Study Indicates That Smokers are Less Likely to Contract Coronavirus Because of Nicotine’s Effect on Lungs
Researchers studying the COVID-19 coronavirus at a French public hospital have made a startling observation that nicotine likely causes individuals to develop a resistance to being infected with coronavirus.
They noted that only 8.5 percent of French individuals hospitalized at the facility due to coronavirus were smokers while 25.4 percent of the general public are smokers. This discrepancy caused them to delve into why this may be the case, and the conclusions they came to are shocking.
“Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop a symptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population. The effect is significant. It divides the risk by five for ambulatory patients and by four for those admitted to hospital. We rarely see this in medicine,” the researchers wrote.
According to an English translation of the press release, their findings show “that active smokers are protected against the Sars-Cov-2 infection” and they believe that “nicotine could be a candidate” for why smokers are seemingly insulated from the virus. The researchers theorized on how this might work.
“Although the chemistry of tobacco smoke is complex, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that its protective role takes place through direct action on various types of nAChRs [nicotine receptors] expressed in neurons, immune cells (including macrophages), cardiac tissue, lungs, and blood vessels,” they wrote in an article that will be printed in the near future.
The French researchers are urging people not to take up smoking due to these preliminary findings, but they are looking into treating coronavirus patients with nicotine patches. Clinical trials for using nicotine to treat coronavirus are in the works and pending approval from French health authorities.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned smokers that they may be more likely to contract coronavirus, although they provide no real evidence to back up their claim.
“People who smoke cigarettes may be at increased risk of infection with the virus that causes Covid-19, and may have worse outcomes from Covid-19,” the agency said in an email response to Bloomberg News.
They noted that smoking “causes heart and lung diseases, suppresses the immune system, and increases the risk of respiratory infections” and warned that vaping exposes the lungs to harmful chemicals.
As usual, the federal swamp is standing in the way of innovative potential ways to treat coronavirus as thousands suffer with the illness.