Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that can badly affect the lungs. Smoking is harmful in every way possible, but new research says the bad habit may protect people from COVID-19.
Leading infectious disease expert at University College London, Professor Francois Balloux, said there is “bizarrely strong” evidence for the claim.
One study by America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) examined over 7,000 people who tested positive for COVID-19.
Surprisingly, only 1.3 percent of them were smokers, compared to the CDC report that 14 percent of all Americans smoke.
Chinese studies have shown that the majority of COVID-19 patients were non-smokers.
Researchers from New York University, and the University of West Attica in Greece, analysed 13 Chinese reports.
Across the whole sample of 5,300 patients, only 6.5 percent were smokers.
“This preliminary analysis does not support the argument that current smoking is a risk factor for hospitalisation for COVID-19,” the researchers began.
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Shockingly, Mr Balloux added: “Actually far stronger than for any drug trialled at this stage.”
Some medical experts aren’t convinced, magnifying one of the study’s pitfalls.
University College London Professor Brown told MailOnline: “It’s difficult to assess how well smoking status has been recorded in an emerging epidemic.
“Lots of these people have been too sick to answer or have not replied totally honestly.”