Disputing claims from other countries that smokers who test positive for the COVID-19 Coronavirus are at a higher risk, Cyprus' national addictions authority said non-smokers are less susceptible to the virus' ravages.
The authority reacted to try to debunk five studies on smoking and COVID-19 after some media reports said smoking cigarettes might actually protect people from being infected with the virus – which goes after the lungs and pulmonary system.
Citing the World Health Organisation, the authority said smoking severely impacts the the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and that smokers addicted to the product are at a higher risk for bacterial and viral lung infections.
“Research data from China, where the pandemic began, showed that people with health problems in these two areas, caused by tobacco use, were at higher risk of developing severe symptoms of the COVID-19,” the authority said, reported the Cyprus Mail.
The agency said articles asserting otherwise are based on unsubstantiated assumptions and not science or medical findings and people should take the reports dubiously at best.
France restricted sales of nicotine substitutes after research published suggested nicotine may offer some protection against infection by the new coronavirus without any substantiation from an industry whose products could be tied to the virus' danger.
The Health Ministry said in a decree it aimed to avoid a shortage of products such as nicotine patches for patients and prevent the wrong use, and overuse, of substitutes used to fight nicotine dependence.