In a bizarre twist to the Coronavirus Pandemic, new data points to cigarette Smokers being at lower risk from the worst effects of Covid-19.
In the beginning it was only the likes of David Hockney who claimed Smokers were somehow protected from the effects of Coronavirus by those little white sticks, whilst Experts had dismissed it as nonsense, warning that Smokers were at much higher risk from the virus as they are from other lung diseases.
But as the data started to come in, scientists noticed that Smokers are not just surviving in the same percentages as non-smokers, but are statistically doing much better than their non-smoking counterparts.
Data from multiple Chinese studies shows that COVID-19 hospital patients contained a much smaller proportion of smokers than the general population (6.5 per cent compared to 26.6 per cent), suggesting they were less likely to end up in hospital.
Another study, by America's Centers for Disease Control of over 7,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus, found that just 1.3 per cent of them were smokers - against the 14 per cent of all Americans that the CDC says smoke.
Now, in another u-turn by experts French researchers are planning to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients and frontline health workers. The study at a major Paris hospital suggests a substance in tobacco – possibly nicotine – may be stopping patients who smoke from catching Covid-19. Clinical trials of nicotine patches are awaiting the approval of the country’s health authorities.
How Public Health England will react to successful trials remains to be seen given their relentless war on the Cigarette industry, we imagine that the results will be ignored.