Cigarette smoking is known to be conducive to a plethora of respiratory conditions, cancers and other diseases. To this effect, as COVID-19 started spreading, health authorities naturally assumed that smokers were at a higher risk of contracting the virus, and that if they did, they would exhibit harsher symptoms than the majority. However, to the surprise of many, evidence to the contrary started emerging.
Data from around the world started indicating that smoking seems to be a protective factor against contracting the virus. To this effect, health experts from around the world started looking into the use of nicotine patches as a possible treatment for the coronavirus. Welsh consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Jonathan Davies, who is conducting one of the first studies on the topic, said the “powerful” drug has the potential to block the virus from entering cells.
Oblivious to recent findings
In an article on The Hill, Krishnamoorthi said he is basing his argument on reliable sources. “According to the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, because coronavirus attacks the lungs, smokers and vapers put themselves “at increased risk of COVID-19 and its more serious complications,” he said, inaccurately failing to differentiate between the risks of vaping vs smoking.
“Similarly, an NIH-funded study out of Baylor University also found that e-cigarettes disrupt lung function, harm the lungs’ ability to fight viral infections, and increase the chances of a viral infection leading to death. In that study, otherwise healthy mice exposed to e-cigarette aerosol lost the ability to protect themselves from even minor lung infections, dying when exposed to small amounts of flu virus that normally would not affect them,” he added.
Pausing e-cig sales is the last thing needed
Sadly, as stated earlier, especially in light of the latest findings, pausing e-cig sales would prove counterproductive. While harm reduction experts remain firm in their view that e-cigarettes should only be used for smoking cessation, when even cigarettes have been found to have a protective effect against the virus, suggesting a ban on their safer alternatives is nonsensical.
Again, no one is suggesting vaping as a preventative measure against the virus. However research clearly indicates that vaping is significantly safer than smoking, therefore smokers who are unable to quit via nicotine patches or other NRTs, would certainly benefit by switching to vaping instead.