Smokers are more likely to end up in hospital or die from COVID-19, according to new research.
Scientists said there is conflicting evidence for the effects of the disease on tobacco and cigarette users.
A study published in July 2020 claimed that smokers were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with COVID than non-smokers.
But it was withdrawn after the newspaper surfaced earlier this year that its writers had links to the tobacco industry.
In new research led by Oxford University and published in the Respiratory Journal Breast On Monday, researchers looked at genetic information and other data including smoking status, COVID testing, hospital admissions and death certificates.
Of the 421,469 eligible participants in the study – the first of its kind in the UK – there were 1,649 confirmed infections, 968 Covid-related hospitalizations and 444 deaths.
The results of the analysis showed that compared to non-smokers, the risk of hospitalization with COVID was 80 percent higher in current smokers.
The research also showed that a genetic predisposition to smoking was associated with a 45 percent higher risk of infection and a 60 percent higher risk of hospitalization for COVID.
The authors concluded that their “results from two analytical approaches support a causal effect of smoking on the risk of severe COVID-19”.
Dr Ashley Clift, lead researcher from Oxford, said: “Our results strongly suggest that smoking is related to your risk of getting severe COVID, and the way smoking affects your risk of heart disease, various cancers and all those other conditions. What we know is linked to smoking, it appears to be the same for COVID.
“So now can be just as good a time to quit cigarettes and quit smoking.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /