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.
The @FDATobacco's decision to ban #menthol cigarettes is a good start, but not enough. @JamesKGlassman1 believes we can accelerate an end to combustible cigarettes by countering disinformation & providing incentives to switch to harm reduced alternatives. https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/4972316001
Will the Biden-Harris administration’s embrace of #harmreduction extend to tobacco? Derek Yach (@swimdaily) believes recent policy choices bode well for #tobaccoharmreduction and represent an important step toward ending the smoking epidemic.
https://filtermag.org/evali-misinformation-increased-smoking/ The implications of @Alex_Norcia @Filtermag_org @mbsiegel comments are clear. #Disinformation (Deliberately spread false info) increases adult smoking & will kill people. @FDATobacco & @CDC need to aggressively oppose falsehoods. @SmokeFreeFdn @GregTHR
It’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. Did you know that those who struggle with #mentalillness are also disproportionately suffering from smoking-related illnesses? #Smokingcessation services should be included in more #mentalhealth treatment plans. https://bit.ly/34EKUHI
.@Doctor_Sud was interviewed by @snusforum about the consequences of rampant nicotine misinformation. @Doctor_Sud says, “One of the most common nicotine misconceptions is that nicotine, in quantities consumed in cigarettes or pouches, is carcinogenic.”
Following up on my recently co-authored #OpenScience @qeios pre-print with Dr Fagerström, here is an interview discussing the prevalent nicotine illiteracy that is preventing the realisation of a world free from risky forms of tobacco.
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