Does Smoking Prevent COVID-19?

A few of you are old enough to remember cigarette ads from the 1950s in which physicians touted the health benefits of cigarettes. Several recent international studies suggest that current tobacco smokers are half as likely to get COVID-19. Whether related to nicotine, one or more of hundreds of other chemicals in smoke, or some other factor is unclear.

If you wanna go down this rabbit hole, click through to this article at American Council on Science and Health. Dig deeper by reading the comments there and read the links in the article. You’ll learn about the scientific process and conflicts of interest.

If that’s TL;DR for you. Here’s an excerpt from Cameron English’s post at ACSH:

“No one should take up smoking for fear of COVID-19, and nothing in tobacco has been shown to prevent or treat SARS-COV-2 infection. The point is that we don’t have enough evidence to determine if this protective effect is real or, if so, what causes it. Anyone who says otherwise, whether they’re trying to confirm or debunk it, is overstepping the research. We need (and should want) better data to find out what’s going on.”

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: I’m not a smoker.

h/t Adam Piggott

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