In recent days, the low number of smokers among patients affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) has been calling out to doctors. However, if the influence of nicotine on the virus remains to be studied, specialists whose Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg caution: smoking is not a cure.
Chairman of the scientific committee responsible for advising the government on the Covid-19 epidemic, Professor Jean-Francois Delfraissy has reported in recent days surprising information about the virus. " We have something very special with tobacco“, He said. " It has been found that the vast majority of severe cases are not smokers, as if […] tobacco protected against this virus, via nicotine. "
While high blood pressure or diabetes, common in people suffering from obesity, are risk factors, this finding could suggest that tobacco on the contrary forms a barrier against infections. An observation greeted with significant reservations by tobacco specialists, who believe that in-depth studies are necessary and that cigarettes can in no way be considered useful in public health matters.
"The risk benefit ratio is a strong case for risk" - Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg
Pulmonologist and tobacco specialist, the professor Bertrand Dautzenberg confirmed that the proportion of smoking patients hospitalized as part of the epidemic was low compared to the number of smokers in the population. Substantial data show this, as much in France as in the United States or in China. A series of studies are currently being carried out, he explains, to study a potential slowing down of the penetration of the virus through the body.
However, the tobacco specialist is formal: this possible benefit needs to be supported by research work and must above all not lead to the population turning to tobacco, or ceasing to seek to break away from it. " Cigarettes killed 100 million people in the 1th century, they will kill XNUMX billion in the XNUMXst“, Insists Professor Dautzenberg, recalling that according to estimates, there are 200 deaths each day in France attributable to tobacco.
« Cigarettes are not a therapeutic solution“, Continues the expert,“ the risk-benefit report pleads massively in favor of risk. "Even if the studies concluded to a somewhat protective effect against the virus, the cigarette would bring" no benefit to health ". To summarize his point, Bertrand Dautzenberg uses a meaningful image: “ You don't cure a flu by shooting yourself in the lungs, the remedy must not be worse than the disease" page (in French).
Source : LCI