The World Health Organization has put an end to the myth that smokers could have some kind of immunity against the coronavirus. In France, two studies were carried out on how nicotine affected the virus because they realized that the number of admitted did not necessarily coincide with the number of smokers in the population. Researchers at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital noted that nicotine may reduce infection coronavirusBut now the WHO has slammed the door on them. According to the international organization, smokers “develop the disease more seriously.”
The epidemiologist of the World Health Organization Maria Van Kerkhove has declared these days at a press conference held in Geneva (Switzerland) that the two French studios they are not conclusive. And far from leaving open the possibility that nicotine was a useful substance to end the coronavirus, he has warned that “We know that smokers have a high risk of developing the disease more seriously”, so that tobacco is not related to protection against the virus at all.
The key would be that nicotine, as claimed by a preliminary French study, is capable of reducing the cases in which the immune system overreacts. But it is not proven and the WHO warns that smoking only worsens the situation. “Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, it damages the lungs. Tobacco increases risk of having to undergo a respirator in the ICU or lose your life, “said the WHO expert accompanied by the director general of the United Nations health agency, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In France, the possibility of applying nicotine patches to those affected by coronavirus was already being considered to see how they reacted, but far from reality, this does not seem to be an effective way to reduce the reaction and the infectivity of the virus. The two mentioned French studies “were not designed to see if tobacco protects or not” and, according to the expert Van Kerkhove, at all they conclude that “tobacco protects us”. A blow to the French researchers who intend to prevent smokers from continuing their practice and that those who are not from going to the tobacconist to buy some cigarettes.
The WHO has emphasized that these controversial French studies have not yet undergone any review or contrast process, so they cannot be taken as conclusive, let alone invite the population to go for tobacco. In these investigations, one of which is led by a group from a French hospital, anti-inflammatory properties are attributed to nicotine in patients, which would mean that smoking is beneficial to kill the virus. Bad advice, according to WHO.
Even his own Ministry of Health of Spain, lead by Salavador Illa, has been launched to tell the population not to take these studies as valid. The fear that the smoking population considers that this protects them from the coronavirus has called on Health to clarify that the studies of the French hospital are preliminary and are not proven, in addition to that there is no evidence to prove them. For Illa, this must be taken “with caution.”
Especially because the study by researchers from the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital does not take into account the other harmful effects of nicotine on the body, it only focuses on how it affects the coronavirus infection, but without assessing the other effects of tobacco that worsen the consequences of the virus. The WHO, therefore, has decided to settle the controversy with some strong statements.