Betreff: CTFK Statement: There is No Evidence to Suggest Smokers are Protected from COVID-19
Von: Caroline Renzulli 
Datum: 25.04.2020, 02:14


CONTACT: Caroline Renzulli,


There is No Evidence to Suggest Smokers are Protected from COVID-19


Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Misleading information on the relationship between smoking and COVID-19 has been reported by the media following the release of French statistics on an open-access website, Qeios. As a result, it has been widely reported that smokers are at lower risk of COVID-19 and by implication nicotine may offer protection from COVID-19. This conclusion is inconsistent with the growing body of evidence that smokers are at greater risk of suffering more severe consequences of COVID-19, has been derived from a citation that is not part of a peer-reviewed study of any kind and does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.   


The French statistic released on Qeios scientifically does not permit any form of credible conclusions on smoking, nicotine and COVID-19. The statistic relies on a very small sample size from one French hospital that does not involve a representative sample or account for significant potential confounding factors. 


Contrary to the news coverage of this data, there is conclusive evidence that smoking increases the risk for respiratory infectionsweakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, there is growing evidence that vaping can also harm lung health. These factors put smokers, and in all likelihood vapers, at greater risk when confronted with COVID-19.


Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, killing more than 8 million people around the world each year. The evidence is clear: tobacco use kills up to half of all lifetime users. Smokers and vapers looking to protect themselves from COVID-19 should make every effort to quit at this time as research has shown that quitting smoking rapidly improves lung function.


While public health experts and governments around the world face the enormous health and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, tobacco companies continue to exploit the pandemic to spread misinformation and promote deadly tobacco products.  In several countries, tobacco companies and their allies have spread false information that tobacco use or vaping will protect users from COVID-19. This information is false and dangerous.


Tobacco companies will stop at nothing to sell more products, even if it means capitalizing on a pandemic. Never has it been more important for the public and policymakers to see the tobacco industry for what it is: an industry of death and disease.



Caroline Renzulli 
International Communications 
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 
1400 I Street NW 
Washington, D.C. 20005