A tobacco company may be in advanced stage of developing a vaccine based out of tobacco leaves. But, smoking is still harmful and increases the risk of coronavirus infection, says a new study.
The study done in UK screened 2.4 million users of a symptom reporting application during the pandemic and cited that smokers are at higher risk of increased symptom burden and more prone to hospitalization.
Smokers are five times as likely to get infected with the influenza virus, and twice as likely to develop pneumonia. Therefore, it may play a substantial role in complicating COVID-19 as well, according to the experts.
The study was done by researchers at Imperial College London, King’s College London, and Zoe Global Ltd.
“The main finding of this study from a large prospective population cohort was that current smoking was associated with a substantially increased risk of developing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19”, report study authors in their paper currently available on medRxiv preprint server.
Moreover, current smoking was linked to an increased symptom burden, suggesting an impact on disease severity, while smokers testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 were more likely to end up in hospitals.