Study Shows NO CONNECTION Between Smoking & COVID-19 Hospitalization
Researchers at the University of West Attica in Greece and New York University analyzed the population of smokers that have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in China. It seems that the media has been pointing to smoking as one of the main causes of coronavirus susceptibility. And what researchers have found is actually quite the opposite.
The CDC recently released a chart with information regarding underlying conditions and how they relate to COVID-19 diagnoses. On March 31, there were 165 former smokers affected by the virus, while only 96 current smokers were affected by the virus. This had people wondering what the truth is about the relationship between smoking and coronavirus. There are other underlying conditions that seem to cause more coronavirus cases.
China’s High Number Of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients And Smokers Are Not Related
In the seven studies that were analyzed by researches, smoking was prevalent in 52.1% of males and 2.7% in females in China. There were 2352 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in total whose data were included in this research. From the total number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases in the 7 studies, 55.8% were males and 44.2% were females. The following table shows coronavirus hospital cases and how many of them were smokers from this group. As you can see, there are not an overwhelming number of cases for those who are smokers.
According to researchers, “An unusually low prevalence of current smoking among hospitalized COVID-19 cases in China was observed when considering the population smoking prevalence. The prevalence observed in the 7 studies analyzed was less than one-third of the expected prevalence.” This does not seem like such a high number after all.
Out of the 2352 people involved in the study, only 205 of them are current smokers. That is not the majority of the people. They could also have other underlying conditions that made them more susceptible to coronavirus. It is a huge contradiction from other reports.
The Media Is Portraying Smoking As A Way Bigger Coronavirus Risk Factor Than Research Presents
This analysis does not support the argument that current smoking is a risk factor for hospitalization for COVID-19. However, the news media has been pushing that smoking puts people at a greater risk of being hospitalized with coronavirus. One Fox 35 news report singled out seniors, men and smokers for being the groups most at risk for contracting the deadly virus.
It makes sense as to why some news outlets and doctors think that smoking puts people at a higher risk. This is because smoking obviously increases susceptibility to respiratory infections. In short, it is bad for your lungs and coronavirus happens to travel up and down your respiratory tract. Some people have pneumonia, a lung infection in which the alveoli are inflamed. This is not necessarily caused by smoking, but it also another condition associated with coronavirus. Research also suggests that more factors need to be taken into account aside from smoking. Socioeconomic status and age may have a greater impact on COVID-19 hospitalization than just smoking does.
What Does This Information Mean For People Who Smoke?
While smoking may not be an underlying cause of coronavirus hospitalization after all, The CDC is still advising people to give up cigarette smoking. They are not advocating people to take up smoking to ward off coronavirus. Smoking can still cause other fatal diseases and underlying health conditions such as lung cancer. But for now, it looks like it may not be as deadly when it comes to coronavirus as it was originally thought to be.
One important thing to think about in the future is how much e-cigarette usage can affect COVID risks. E-cigarette usage and vaping have become more prevalent in the United States and Europe. In this particular study, “No studies recording e-cigarette use status among hospitalized COVID-19 patients in China were identified.” However, it poses an interesting question about looking into alternative methods of smoking in the future and how they impact coronavirus cases.