Our cross sectional study in both COVID-19 out- and inpatients strongly suggests that daily smokers have a very much lower probability of developing symptomatic or severe SARS-CoV-2 infection as compared to the general population.
They found that only about 5% of COVID-19 patients were regular smokers, compared to about 25% for the general population. They theorize that nicotine may bind to receptors and prevent infection:
Nicotine and the nicotinic receptor (and not the smoke of cigarettes per se, which is responsible for a very heavy public health burden with more than 78,000 deaths per year in France) may be indeed involved in the pathway leading to viral infection, and particularly in the most severe forms of the disease. Nicotine administration, e.g. via a transcutaneous route may be tested as a therapy to recapitulate the protecting effect of smoking against SARS CoV2 infection.
Time to consider medicinal tobacco or nicotine treatments?
And both Canada and Israel are looking into whether certain compounds in Cannabis are beneficial. Next we’ll hear the disinfectant remark actually had merit in the form of hard alcohol. A fifth of Jack Daniels, a pack of cigarettes and a joint every night to keep the Covid away. Our voices will save us!
If it doesn’t kill you but kills the virus. Go for it!!
Smokers and individuals with COPD have increased airway expression of ACE-2, which is the entry receptor for the COVID-19 virus. This may explain the increased risk of severe COVID-19 in these subpopulations and highlight importance of smoking cessation.–from the abstract of the paper referenced in Sky News
There is no reference to the second sentence of that statement, nor do I see any data in the paper to support the claim. Is it an urban legend?
The French study presented data indicates that far fewer smokers got the disease than expected from their portion of the population. It is possible that the smokers who actually get the disease are more likely to have serious pneumonia than other COVID-19 patients. These statements are not mutually exclusive.