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13 studies from China covering 5,960 hospitalized COVID-19 patients show that only 6.5% of them were smokers. The smoking rate in China is 26.6% (50.5% male and 2.1% female).
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data on 7,162 COVID-19 patients show that only 3% of those who required hospitalization were current smokers. The smoking rate in the United States is 13.7% (15.6% male and 12% female).
Smokers are more likely to develop garden-variety colds and flus, so the above COVID-19 data are surprising. Smokers who become ill with COVID-19 are no more likely to be hospitalized than non-smokers. Notably, there is absolutely no evidence linking COVID-19 to nicotine vaping.
There is, however, no debate that people with ‘comorbidities’ like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are more likely to develop complications and die from COVID-19. Although the majority of smokers do not have COPD or CVD, most people with COPD are current or former smokers, as are many with CVD.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Now, let’s do a quick survey of news reports from around the world to see what experts were saying about smoking and COVID-19 on April 7, 2020:
Excepting the last two pieces, the general tone of news stories urges smokers to quit because of COVID-19. Yet there is no actual evidence directly linking smoking to COVID-19 infections or hospitalizations.
There is, however, ample evidence linking smoking to 7 million deaths per year from cancer, heart, and lung disease. Efforts towards smoking cessation will continue to be crucial in global efforts against preventable deaths, with or without COVID-19.
Mission is to eliminate smoking worldwide by supporting cessation & harm reduction #research, and transitioning tobacco #farmers to alternative livelihoods.
#WorldNoTobaccoDay has been observed on May 31 since 1988. This year, as the world is grappling with a new and terrifying virus. #WNTD reminds us that smoking is a pandemic too. Read Derek Yach's blog piece here: https://bit.ly/2ZN5Wmt
Will #SouthAfrica’s ban on all #tobacco products as a response to #COVID19 backfire? As Derek Yach points out in a @Filtermag_org article by @Alex_Norcia, “the 1920s script of what happened in the US during Prohibition is happening now in South Africa.” https://bit.ly/2zIcUP9
In an article published by http://pubmed.gov Derek Yach explores how the #COVID19 State of Smoking Poll helps us understand tobacco use in 5 countries during the lockdown. This poll is one of many studies needed to evaluate long term consequences. https://bit.ly/3ddBoOF
In the first of our new Watching Brief series, Ayda Yurekli examines #ecigarette excise taxes and looks towards a smoke-free future in #Hungary. Take a look at her two-part piece here: https://bit.ly/36K7kYI
Tobacco Free Portfolios conducted a special webinar for #WorldNoTobaccoDay. We agree that the financial community can and should hold #tobacco companies accountable. The Tobacco Transformation Index may be a tool that can help bring us closer to that goal. https://bit.ly/2B2IVBD
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