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French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients

S.J.B.

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French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients
Kim Willsher
The Guardian
April 22nd, 2020
French researchers are planning to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients and frontline health workers after a study suggested smokers may be much less at risk of contracting the virus.

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.

However, the researchers insisted they were not encouraging the population to take up smoking, which carries other potentially fatal health risks and kills 50% of those who take it up. While nicotine may protect those from the virus, smokers who have caught it often develop more serious symptoms because of the toxic effect of tobacco smoke on the lungs, they say.

The team at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital questioned 480 patients who tested positive for the virus, 350 of whom were hospitalised while the rest with less serious symptoms were allowed home.

It found that of those admitted to hospital, whose median age was 65, only 4.4% were regular smokers. Among those released home, with a median age of 44, 5.3% smoked.
Read the full story here.
 

SunriseChampion

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haha, if it turns out to be true that smokers are less likely to catch the virus, then I will rue the day I quit smoking, 5 months before this plague....after quitting 5 years later than I had originally planned.

Belmont.....I'm coming back.
 

JessFR

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Uhm...how does nicotine protect against Coronavirus? It just doesn't make sense. I gave up vaping a couple of weeks ago.
I looked into this a little while ago, I don't know enough about it to really comment, but essentially the theory seems to be to do with how the virus enters cells through the ACE2 receptors, which nicotine also has a relationship with.

I have no idea how likely it is, but that's where the logic seems to be.

Even if it's true though, smoking is still very harmful, it's probably more just that this is a potential use for nicotine the compound.
 

Gormur

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This isn't really news at all though. Tobacco only recently isn't recommended or prescribed by medical doctors

It seems nasal snuff, which has been around for a very long time used to be given for viruses as late as the turn of the 20th century
 

d1nach

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My guess is if this is true since smoking is toxic to the lungs and covid is i think a respiratory virus if your constantly blasting your lungs with really hot toxic smoke it might just be kinda hard for it to survive.
 

Skorpio

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The theory about nicotine and ACE2 is kind of a post hoc explanation.

There has been a rather unexplained underrepresentation of smokers in coronavirus cohorts. This is only a correlation and could be due to an unseen causal factor (ie smokers smell like smoke so people distance further), but due to the severity of the virus folks are trying to gain any edge over the virus.

Its like the same rationale for trialing famotidine. Wuhan had poorer patients with better prognoses than the rich ones (the horror) and noticed a difference in heartburn medication taken by the cohorts. Richer people would take omeprazole which is thought to have less of (none basically ) a protective effect against the virus.

The one thing I think is lacking (but for good reasons) is the involvement of other tobacco components in the lung. Tobacco smoke has loads of rather reactive compounds in it and loads of non nicotine compounds with drug like biological activity. It also gets into your body through the lungs (unless somebody is blowing smoke up your ass). Nicotine patches may work if higher blood levels of nicotine are sufficient for some protection, but i would like to see a more rigorous study (there are decent animal models, so just stick some infected mice in a bong loaded with pall malls. I guess you would want to compare them to mice with nicotine patches and vape mice and mice that are smoking non tobacco plants for proper controls).
 

Shady's Fox

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See kids, after all smokin isn't bad. I wonder after they find out, will they change the packs? ''Smokin heals'' ''Smokin boosts X''. Cigars doesn't contain any harmful substance. This being said, now myself I am enjoying a nice Davidoff Gold, mhm. 🖤
 
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