There is No Evidence to Suggest Smokers are Protected from COVID-19

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

 April 24, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Misleading information on the relationship between smoking and COVID-19 has been reported by the media following the release of French statistics on an open-access website, Qeios. As a result, it has been widely reported that smokers are at lower risk of COVID-19 and by implication nicotine may offer protection from COVID-19. This conclusion is inconsistent with the growing body of evidence that smokers are at greater risk of suffering more severe consequences of COVID-19, has been derived from a citation that is not part of a peer-reviewed study of any kind and does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.   

The French statistic released on Qeios scientifically does not permit any form of credible conclusions on smoking, nicotine and COVID-19. The statistic relies on a very small sample size from one French hospital that does not involve a representative sample or account for significant potential confounding factors. 

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