While smoking and use of nicotine products come with their own sets of risks and health concerns, one study claims they may actually be keeping a large number of people from contracting the coronavirus.
USA Today reports that based on a French study from the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, nicotine has been suggested as a preventative ingredient against COVID-19 after studying 480 patients.
"Nicotine may be suggested as a potential preventative agent against COVID-19 infection," the study reads.
"Both the epidemiological/clinical evidence and the in-silico findings may suggest that COVID-19 infection is a nAChR disease that could be prevented and may be controlled by nicotine," it continues.
However, the study also illustrates that nicotine could have pathological consequences due to its addictive and abused nature. Controlled settings could provide an environment for nicotine to be tested as treatment.
The Daily Mail reports, "Researchers determined that far fewer smokers appear to have contracted the virus or, if they have, their symptoms are less serious."
Still, researchers urge people to wait for further evidence that nicotine has any positive effect on the severity of the coronavirus, as many other studies have claimed the opposite effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against smoking and using nicotine products as it could heighten the outcomes of the virus. Findings from the French study were preliminary, and therefore, most agree that more information is needed.
After the study was published, the French government put more controls on nicotine substances including gum and patches. They've warned pharmacies to limit the amount of nicotine products they sell to customers.
"Because of media coverage of the potentially protective effect of nicotine against COVID-19, there is a high risk of a significant rise in the pharmacy dispensing and Internet sale of nicotine replacement treatments over the coming days," a draft order from the European Commission reads.
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