Study: Smokers Appear Less Likely to Be Hospitalised with COVID-19
There’s a certain incredulity expressed:
It makes intuitive sense that smoking ought to exacerbate a respiratory infection such as coronavirus. Indeed, earlier reports in the mainstream media reflected this view when very little was known about coronavirus, pointing out the obvious — that smoking damages your lungs and so do respiratory diseases. (my added emphases)
Does smoking damage your lungs? As a 50-year-long smoker of unfiltered roll-ups, my answer would be No. I never had the sense that I was damaging my lungs. I think I would have stopped if I did.
Try this question instead: Does jogging damage your legs? I’d bet that most joggers would say that jogging strengthens their legs. It’s non-joggers and anti-joggers like me who would point out how the impact of jogging on feet and knees must be damaging them. I always think that joggers are slowly killing themselves.
So I think that smoking strengthens your lungs in the same way that jogging strengthens your legs, and weight-lifting strengthens your arms, and doing almost anything a lot makes you better at it.
Another point is that more or less everything can be beneficial in some circumstances, maleficial in others. Water is essential for living things, but they can also drown in it. It’s never the case that anything is all good, or all bad.
But antismokers always try to portray smoking as all bad, in all and every respect. They won’t even allow that smokers might enjoy smoking: No, smokers only light up because they are “addicted”.
So what’s really dangerous about these new studies is that they are strongly suggesting that there might be something good about smoking. And that’s unthinkable for antismokers, even if it’s not unthinkable for anyone else. Antismokers believe that Smoking Always Kills.
Anyway, with the premier alt-right Breitbart news now running this story, a lot more people are going to hear about it. Which may be why my blog stats are reporting that in 12 hours today I’ve already had as many page views on my blog as I had all yesterday (about 800) and half of them are on my 18 Feb 2020 How To Prevent Coronavirus? Start Smoking. There is a lot of interest out there. In fact since I’ve been covering this story, the daily hit count on my blog has doubled, returning it to levels it used to have some 5 years ago.
It would be a terrible blow for Tobacco Control if tobacco is found to be protective against Covid-19. It would be a terrible blow for it to be found good for anything at all. So I expect to see Stanton Glantz et al. producing instant overnight studies that re-affirm the dangers of smoking. But there are now a lot of new people looking at tobacco, as a matter of considerable urgency, and many of them will be open-minded: they’ll want to know the truth. One question they’ve been asking is: Might what we’ve been seeing be the result of smokers stopping smoking as soon as they get Covid-19, perhaps because shortness of breath (a Covid-19 symptom) prevents them from smoking? But I’ve been suffering from shortness of breath for the past 2 months, and it hasn’t stopped me from smoking. In fact I usually feel slightly better for smoking, not slightly worse.
I’m beginning to wonder if smoking has always been used for medicinal purposes, rather than pleasure. It was held in high esteem during the Plague of 1665. Might this be the same reason why smoking greatly increased among soldiers during WW1 and WW2. I’ve hitherto thought that this was because smoking calmed their nerves. But maybe it was also that soldiers in trenches were in a cold, wet, unhealthy, outdoor environment, and smoking prevented respiratory disease in the same way as it appears to be doing now with Covid-19. For soldiers smoking may have seemed as protective as wearing a helmet, which was also something they didn’t want to do.
In this approach, smoking is something people start doing when they face respiratory health threats: they are fumigating their lungs.
Research has proven that burning sage removes a whopping 94% of bacteria in the air. When the researchers tested the air a day later, it was still clean.
It may explain the long term smoking-antismoking cycle: When the health threat subsides (the plague, the war, whatever) people stop smoking, because there ceases to be any benefit in doing so. During this period, antismokers who see no benefit in smoking appear in mounting numbers. And this continues until a new health threat emerges, which smoking helps prevent, at which smoking prevalence starts rising, and antismokers start vanishing again. We may be at one of those points in history when the health benefits of tobacco are being rediscovered.