New smokers suggest that smokers are 23% less likely to get Covid-19 or experience side effects from the virus.
It had previously been suggested that nicotine could help cure the virus, and experts said there was “strangely strong evidence” to support this.
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This is due to the fact that various global studies have found that among hospitalized Covid patients, there is a low prevalence of smokers.
Last month, it was also announced that an NHS hospital would start using nicotine patches as a possible treatment for the virus.
Despite this, a team from Baylor College of Medicine found that people who had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime had a 25% increase in levels of ACE2, the enzyme that attaches to the outer surface of lungs.
Researchers have also discovered that smoking reshapes the gene expression of lung cells.
The significant impact on lung expression not only showed an increase in the entry points for the Covid-19 virus, but also suggested that the mucus would adhere more to the lungs if the patient was a smoker.
It was then that French researchers also conducted a small study on Covid-19 patients and found that smoking was a protective factor against the virus.
Professor François Balloux of University College London previously pointed out that there is “strangely strong evidence” that smoking could be protective.
He had already tweeted: “As extraordinary as it may seem, smoking (or nicotine consumption) seems to be highly protective against the symptoms / death of # Covid-19 (higher effect than any drug tested at this stage)”.
Mexican researchers analyzed data from 90,000 patients and found that infected smokers were less likely to need a ventilator.
The new study may add weight to the theory that nicotine protects certain patients.
But, this comes when health secretary Matt Hancock previously warned that smokers were at greater risk of the effects of Covid-19 and urged people to quit.
Smoking damages your lungs, your heart, and your body’s ability to efficiently pump blood.
It can also increase your risk of developing new health complications, which is why many experts have questioned the results that nicotine can protect patients.
But the known effects of smoking haven’t stopped some people from supporting the addictive substance.
In April, artist David Hockney sparked an argument after claiming that tobacco protects against coronavirus.
In a letter to the Daily Mail, he wrote, “Could it not be that smokers have developed an immune system against this virus?
“With all these numbers coming out (in) research in China, it’s starting to look like that to me.
“I’m serious and remember that cigars and cigarettes are vegan. ”
The Mexican study focused on patients from low- and middle-income households to determine if this increased the severity of Covid-19.
The study has not yet been peer reviewed and has been published in medRxiv.
Dr. Theodoros Giannouchos of the University of Utah led the study, which was a joint project with scientists from Mexico, the United States and Greece.
They observed data from 236,439 patients who had visited a medical facility with suspected viral respiratory disease.
It also included 89,756 patients who tested positive for Covid-19 and 146,683 who tested negative.
They say this is the largest study of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19.
Patients were asked to inform researchers of any underlying health conditions and were also asked whether they were smokers or non-smokers.
About 8.3% of those diagnosed with Covid-19 were smokers.
It is essential to note, however, that the researchers pointed out that about 14 percent of adults in Mexico smoke.
The results revealed that 23% of smokers were less likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19.
Smokers were also six percent less likely to be admitted to hospital.
The researchers said the results were not “unexpected”
In the newspaper, they said, “Smoking was not associated with a higher risk of side effects and hospitalization.
“Smokers were also less likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19 than non-smokers.
“Some studies have shown that smokers are underrepresented among COVID-19 patients and have hypothesized that nicotine can exert protective effects, while others have found that nicotine and smoking cause upregulation. of ACE2 which can facilitate viral invasion and entry into cells ”.
They added that it is still unclear whether nicotine has a positive effect or not.
“There is no doubt that smoking cannot be used as a protective measure and smoking cessation should be encouraged during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The potential value of nicotine or other nicotinic agonists in Covid-19 should be determined by clinical trials. ”
Charity Action on Smoking (ASH) had previously called on people to “Leave for Covid”, after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “clear that smoking had worsened the impact of Covid-19”.
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Speaking to The Sun today, Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH, said, “Half of long-term smokers die prematurely, or about 8 million people this year alone, more than 80% of whom live in countries with low or middle income.
“As the study authors themselves say,” There is no doubt that smoking cannot be used as a protective measure and smoking cessation should be encouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic ”
“Smokers should know that they are much more likely to be successful in quitting if they use alternative forms of nicotine, such as patches, gum and electronic cigarettes, all of which are much less harmful than smoking . ”
Last month, researchers also found that smoking increased the risk of getting coronavirus because the lungs were already damaged.
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