France is the first country to limit the sale of nicotine products to avoid hoarding after research suggests it could prevent coronavirus, Your Content has learned. The online sale of nicotine products, specifically patches, chewing gum and lozenges have been restricted completely.
The ban was initially an effort to “prevent the health risks of excessive consumption or misuse linked to media coverage of the possible protective effect of nicotine against COVID-19,” according to French officials.
“Secondly, it guarantees continuous and appropriate supply to people requiring medical support to stop smoking.”
Researchers at an elite Paris hospital released a study Wednesday, noting only five percent of nearly 500 coronavirus patients smoked, far less than the 35 percent in France’s general population, according to MailOnline.
The study’s co-author, neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux from France’s Pasteur Institut says the theory is that nicotine could adhere to cell receptors, thereby blocking the virus from entering cells and spreading in the body.
In a bizarre twist, the researchers determined that far fewer smokers appear to have contracted the virus.
What’s more, if they contracted the virus, their symptoms are less serious.
Another study, by the Centers for Disease Control in the US, found just 1.3 per cent of hospitalized patients were smokers – compared to 14 per cent of America.
“This preliminary analysis does not support the argument that current smoking is a risk factor for hospitalisation for COVID-19,” the researchers began.
“Instead, these consistent observations, which are further emphasised by the low prevalence of current smoking among COVID-19 patients in the US (1.3 per cent), raises the hypothesis that nicotine may have beneficial effects on COVID-19.”
The researchers admitted: “The accuracy of the recorded smoking status needs to be determined.”
Professor Balloux came across the research paper and commented: “Whilst the study design is far from perfect – and the authors are clear about its limitations – the evidence for a protective effect of smoking (or nicotine) against COVID-19 is bizarrely strong.”