Could Nicotine help prevent Covid-19 infections?

Published May 4, 2020


DURBAN – As the debate of whether cigarettes should be sold in South Africa during level 4 of the national lockdown, French researches feel that they may have found a solution to the rising cases of Covid-19.

French researchers are looking at nicotine to help decrease the infection rate of Covid-19 patients. A study conducted at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris of the 483 patients that were infected, the infection rate of the outpatients and inpatients that were smokers was lower than that of non-smokers. Only 5.3 percent of Covid-19 infected patients were smokers compared to 25.4 percent of these patients were non-smokers.

Researches found that nicotine and the Covid-19 virus bound together due to having the same receptor cells. This means that the nicotine was able to block the Covid-19 virus from attaching itself to the lung cells.

Due to the findings of the research, the French government had to limit the sale of nicotine products to the general population so that they are able to test their theory on health care workers and infected patients. However, smoking cigarettes still makes a smoker vulnerable to getting infected with Covid-19 as the tobacco contained in the cigarettes causes serve damage to the respiratory system.


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