Used cigarette advertisements are often made outrageous claim about cigarettes, including, which are well-known, that they can cure asthma. (They can’t.) So the rumor is that smokers might have a lower risk of contracting COVID-19 looks like the same two-faced.
Strangely, such rumors seem to be rooted in a grain of truth. (We will discuss this later.) However, Salon spoke with three experts, all of whom said the same thing: it is almost certain that smoking puts you at greater risk of dying from a corona virus infection.
“They don’t say that smoking prevents [coronavirus]. They say that nicotine prevents it, “Dr. William Haseltine, founder and former CEO of Human Genome Sciences, and currently chairman and chair of the global health thinker Access Health International, told Salon about April study in “Comptes rendus biologies” led by French neurologist Jean-Pierre Changeux.
“Smoking certainly makes it worse nicotine“Maybe an acetone,” Haseltine continued. I know they have to show the data, and I don’t think they show the data here. All they do is speculate. But the danger is that many people may confuse nicotine by smoking. That must be bad for you. “
He added, “There are many studies throughout the world, many different populations have shown that if you are a current smoker, your chances of dying from an infection are much higher than if you didn’t. This paper opens the possibility that nicotine can be a useful treatment; it doesn’t show it, but speculates based on some detective logic. That logic might be right. I can’t say it because I have to do an experiment to find out if it’s true. “
The study referred to by Haseltine was popularized by a Deputy article last month with the headline “Why Are Smokers Fewer Hospitalized Than Coronavirus?” He noted how the Changeux study found that “out of 343 patients who were hospitalized, only 4.4 percent were recorded as smokers; of 139 outpatients, only 5.3 percent were recorded as smokers.” Changeux notes that “more than a quarter” of the French population smokes.
This article also displays a learn led by a Greek cardiologist and tobacco hazard reduction specialist Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, who concluded that “their initial analysis did not support the argument that smoking is currently a risk factor for hospitalization for COVID-19 … In contrast, this consistent observation, which is further emphasized by the current low prevalence of smoking among COVID-19 patients in the US (1.3%), hypothesized that nicotine might have a beneficial effect on COVID-19. “He acknowledged that” other confounding factors need to be considered and the accuracy of the recorded smoking status needs to be determined. However, the results are very consistent in all research and was recently verified in the first COVID-19 case series in the United States. US. ”
“General suggestions for stopping smoking as a step to increase health risks remain valid, but at this time no recommendations can be made regarding the effects of smoking on the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19,” the study concluded.
Russell Medford, chair of the Center for Global Health Innovation in Atlanta, shares his own thoughts with the Salon about the study in question.
“The nicotinic acid hypothesis that is the basis for all these studies does not make sense from a molecular perspective,” Medford explained. “Data related to smoking with the development of COVID-19, in a recent study I was referring to, shows a significant risk for disease progression in patients who have current or recent or have a history of smoking. Both are not connected.”
He added, “The nicotinic acid hypothesis and smoking should not be linked together. I think there is an incorrect assessment of the data available, that for some reason smoking is somehow protective, and that is not borne out by the data that I have seen. And indeed, a lot of data about meta-analysis shows the opposite – that the results and severity of the disease are improved by cigarette smoke. “
Medford shared two scientific articles with Salon that support his claim about how smoking increases one’s vulnerability during a pandemic. One written by Roengrudee Patanavanich, MD and Stanton A Glantz, PhD and published in the May 13 issue of “Nicotine & Tobacco Research.” This concludes that “smoking and the use of e-cigarettes increase the risk and severity of lung infections due to damage to the upper airways and decreased lung immune function. Specifically, smokers have a higher risk of infection and death than Cov-MERS.”
Another learn published in the PLOS One journal earlier this month and concluded that “compared to former and never smokers, current smokers are at greater risk of severe complications and higher mortality rates … Effective preventive measures are needed to reduce risk of COVID-19 at COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] current patients and smokers. “
Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, echoed Haseltine and Medford’s observations.
“People should not think that smoking will help them with their illness,” explained Benjamin. “We know that’s not how the disease pathology works. When you smoke, you hurt your airways and lungs, and you can actually make yourself more vulnerable to viruses. Now it might be very good that nicotine has an effect on the virus, but that will not be proportional to the injury you have with smoking. “
John Maa, M.D., past president of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society, and Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University, wrote a editorial at The Hill warning against studies that suggest smoking can reduce one’s susceptibility to the corona virus. They pointed out that “a careful review of the data [from the French study] Instead of revealing findings more likely because of statistical weaknesses and sampling errors, along with poor screening rates and documentation of smoking history by doctors. “They also expressed concern that the lead author of the French study, Jean-Pierre Changeux, had” relations with the tobacco industry, which previously received $ 220,000 from the tobacco industry-funded Tobacco Research Council in the 1990s, and worked with RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris. “
“Until we have unbiased data, supported by a solid research design, and free from the influence of the tobacco industry, we will warn against the possibility of the myth that smoking protects from getting COVID-19,” wrote Maa and Halpern-Felsher.
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