Coronavirus symptoms: Smokers might be less at risk from COVID-19

Smoking is known to be a big cause of damage to the lungs, however more and more research is pointing towards smokers potentially being less at risk. Dr Hilary and Professor Linda Bauld both discussed this theory on This Morning. Leading infectious disease expert at University College London, Professor Francois Balloux stated there is “bizarrely strong” evidence for the claim that smokers are less at risk with Professor Bauld saying on This Morning that it is “plausible”.


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A study by America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) examined over 7,000 people who had been tested positive for COVID-19.

Bizarrely the study revealed that only 1.3 percent of them were smokers, compared to the CDC report that 14 percent of all Americans smoke.

Professor Linda Bauld said: “My colleagues at UCL have looked at 28 studies and have find few smokers in countries like China, France etc who developed coronavirus.

“Something strange is going on and it is plausible that smokers are less likely to develop the condition.”

Dr Hilary Jones added: “New tests are being operated looking at nicotine patches and how it may help with COVID-19.

“We are definitely not advising people go out and start smoking but perhaps something in the patches could provide some answers.”

Dr Hilary did also say that when smokers were infected with COVID-19 their symptoms were a lot worse.

Research showing surmounting evidence that smokers may be less at risk has been seen all over the world.

French researchers are now planning on testing nicotine patches on coronavirus patients after numerous studies have proven a possible less risk factor with smoking and the deadly bug.

The study at a major Paris hospital suggested a possible substance in tobacco which may be stopping patients who smoke from catching COVID-19.

Chinese studies have also shown a possible link with less risk of catching COVID-19 and being a smoker.


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The studies made in China showed that the majority of COVID-19 patients were non-smokers.

Researches from New York University and the University of West Attica in Greece analysed their Chinese counterpart reports.

Across the whole sample of 53,00 patients, only 6.5 percent were smokers.

The Researchers said of this discovery: “This preliminary analysis does not support the argument that current smoking is a risk factor for hospitalisation for COVID-19.

“Instead, these consistent observations, which are further emphasised by the low prevalence of current smoking among COVID-19 patients in the US, raises the hypothesis that nicotine may have beneficial effects on COVID-19.”

Dr Aseem Malhotra also spoke on This Morning about the dangers of obesity being the biggest risk factor for COVID-19.

Dr Malhotra said: “I want to discuss the elephant in the room which is obesity and its risk factor for COVID-19.

“The CDC stated that being obese increases a person’s risk tenfold.

“It’s the excess body fat one holds which puts them at such high risk.

“Having a poor diet is responsible for 11 million deaths a year and if you look at Boris Johnson he is overweight as opposed to Professor Whitty and Matt Hancock who were also infected by the virus but made speedy recoveries.

“Both Whitty and Hancock are of slimmer build compared to Boris Johnson. “

Professor Jean-Francois Delfraissy spoke on franceinfo radio and said: “This virus is terrible.

“It can hit young people, obese young people.

“Those who are overweight really need to be careful. That is why we are worried about our friends in America, where the problem of obesity is well-known and where they will probably have the most problems because of obesity.”

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