Researchers Currently Exploring Connection Between Nicotine Consumption And Lowered Risk Of Contracting Coronavirus
The current chaos caused by the coronavirus crisis had led to a near-collapse of the global economic system and an overburdening of various healthcare and social assistance systems the world over. As the world scrambles to contain the contagion, researchers are reviewing all viable treatment options.
New evidence indicates a possible connection between nicotine consumption and a lowered risk of contracting the coronavirus and developing COVID-19. Researchers theorize nicotine may be possibly preventing the virus from infecting cells, or potentially suppressing the immune system and preventing an overreaction to the virus.
This connection was discovered after a survey of confirmed coronavirus cases found that a statistically significantly low number of patients were actually smokers despite high prevalence among the general public. Researchers aim to further explore this connection in a new clinical trial that will distribute nicotine patches to frontline workers and intensive care patients.
The results offer promise and potential in a time of what seems like near-constant hopelessness and despair. As many countries and states look to ease lockdown restrictions, others are taking direct action to prepare for the next wave of infections.
Benefits Of Nicotine
French researchers are looking to explore a possible connection between nicotine usage and a lowered risk of contracting the coronavirus. Neurologist Jean-Pierre Changeux theorizes that nicotine may be potentially preventing the virus from infecting cells directly, or could be lowering the body’s immune system to prevent an overactive immune response.
An initial study was conducted through surveys at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris and found a statistically significantly low prevalence of confirmed coronavirus cases among smokers. Researchers now plan to distribute nicotine patches to frontline workers and intensive care workers in a clinical trial to further explore this potential connection.
France’s findings confirm a previous study from China in March, which also found that only a small percentage of confirmed cases were smokers, despite higher smoking rates among the general public. Even a study released by the CDC in the USA found a remarkably low amount of smokers had contracted coronavirus, although the United States has far lower tobacco usage than either France or China.
“Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop asymptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population,” the Pitié-Salpêtrière report authors stated in the study. “The effect is significant. It divides the risk by five for ambulatory patients and by four for those admitted to the hospital. We rarely see this in medicine,” they added.
Truth About Vaping
Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have stated that nicotine has positive cognitive benefits such as improvement in focus and the prevention of memory loss. In addition, nicotine and related compounds are being investigated for their potential therapeutic benefits for a variety of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Vaping has one of the highest rates of nicotine bioavailability, meaning your body more readily utilizes it, in comparison to any other route of administration available. In an article, published in the journal Science, respected health experts came together to speak out against prohibitive policies targeting vaping. They note that there is currently no evidence that vaping is harmful, and those prohibitive policies targeting vaping simply turn smokers back toward tobacco.
In addition to the lack of risk associated with vaping, they also note that the benefits vaping provides as a smoking cessation tool. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that vaping is more effective than other nicotine-replacement therapies in helping adults quit smoking and remain tobacco-free.
Current research has indicated that vaping is responsible for helping thousands of adult smokers successfully quit each year. Research from University College London found that vaping helped up to 70,000 British smokers quit in a single year alone.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, there is currently no evidence of long-term risk from vaping. Research published by the National Academy of Sciences found that not only is vaping less harmful than smoking, but there are no known long-term health effects associated with prolonged usage.
What It Means
As trials of other experimental treatments begin to unravel, a solution for a respiratory disease appears in the least likely of places. While public health officials will never advocate smoking, they do see the promise and potential that nicotine is offering in such trying times.
Further research into this potential connection is warranted and welcomed and may offer hope to those who need it the most in combating this crisis. There is the potential to develop synthetic forms of nicotine as well, which don’t carry the risk of addiction offering greater therapeutic benefit.
What are your thoughts regarding the potential connection between contracting the coronavirus and smoking? How do you think this may impact the vaping industry moving forward? Let us know what you think in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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