“Smoking depresses pulmonary immune function and is a risk factor contracting other infectious diseases and more serious outcomes among people who become infected. This paper presents a meta-analysis of the association between smoking and progression of the infectious disease COVID-19,” write Patanavanich and Glantz in their paper.
They say that from their analysis of 19 peer-reviewed papers, “with a total of 11,590 COVID-19 patients, 2,133 (18.4%) with severe disease and 731 (6.3%) with a history of smoking. A total of 218 patients with a history of smoking (29.8%) experienced disease progression, compared with 17.6% of non-smoking patients.”
Patanavanich and Glantz concluded: “Smoking is a risk factor for progression of COVID-19, with smokers having higher odds of COVID-19 progression than never smokers. Physicians and public health professionals should collect data on smoking and, given the pulmonary effects of e-cigarettes, e-cigarette use as part of clinical assessments and add smoking (and, to be health protective, e-cigarette) cessation to the list of practices to blunt the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Glantz’ amoral drive to demonise vaping could lead to doctors being swayed by opinion rather than fact, placing lives in danger. Glantz willingly conflates nicotine with smoking and smoking with vaping. His position runs contrary to Access Health International’s Dr. William Haseltine.
Speaking about a paper supporting the hypothesis that nicotine can help patients, Haseltine recently said: “[Researchers are] not saying that smoking prevents coronavirus. They're saying that nicotine prevents it. Smoking clearly exacerbates it. But the danger is that many people may conflate nicotine with smoking. That's definitely bad for you. There are many studies around the world, many different populations have shown that if you are a current smoker, your chance of dying from an infection is much higher than if you were not. This … opens the possibility that nicotine may be a useful treatment; it doesn't show it, but speculates based on some detective logic. That logic may be correct."
Chris Snowdon, Institute of Economic Affairs, looked at Glantz’s work: “I've been expecting a reaction from Stanton Glantz. I imagine it has been all hands to the pumps in San Francisco this week as the legacy 'public health' establishment plans its counter-attack.”
He continues: “You can tell it has been produced in a hurry. The results section consists of two short paragraphs and the conclusion is just two sentences long. It looks at twelve studies, ten from China and one each from South Korea and the USA. The large study from New York which found no association between smoking and COVID progression - and found that smokers are significantly less likely to be hospitalised with the disease - is conspicuous by its absence.”
Snowdon’s impressive takedown of Glantz is linked below.