WHO has urged researchers, scientists and the media to be cautious about unproven claims that tobacco or nicotine reduces the risk of COVID-19. In a statement, the world body said that COVID-19 primarily attacks the lungs and smoking impairs lung function, making it harder for the body to fight off coronavirus and other diseases.
“Tobacco is also a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which put people with these conditions at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19. Available research suggests that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death,” said the WHO.
The WHO said, it is constantly evaluating new research including examining the link between tobacco use, nicotine use and COVID-19. It urged researchers, scientists and media to be cautious about amplifying such claims.
“There is currently insufficient information to confirm any link between tobacco or nicotine in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19,” said the world body.
Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million non-smokers are exposed to second-hand smoke.
Coronavirus or COVID-19 has killed 283,153 people in 215 countries with 4,088,848 confirmed cases, according to the WHO.
In India, there have been 70,756 cases, with 22,455 recoveries and 2,293 deaths, according to the federal Health Ministry.