Reports, myths, and misconceptions seem to be a daily thing in the vaping world. As little as a few weeks ago, there were a number of reports concerning vaping and coronavirus with officials such as the New York City (NYC) Mayor Bill de Blasio citing vaping as a risk factor for Coronavirus. We reported how this was based on no actual evidence and was just fear-mongering.
This week has been interesting thanks to research conducted out of France where a team of researchers suggested that nicotine could prevent the virus from entering human cells this is according to Jean-Pierre Changeux from France’s Pasteur Institut, who also co-authored the study.
The study is claiming that nicotine may lower angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) which is basically what the Coronavirus latches onto to infect the cell. The researchers go onto say that although nicotine “MAY” protect the cells from the virus, smokers that do contract the virus often show more severe symptoms due to the toxic levels of tobacco smoke.
The researchers are currently waiting on the countries health authorities for approval, and if it is, it is likely that they will start testing nicotine patches on health care workers and patients to see if it can suppress the infection rate.
It would also appear that this type of research is not new, Konstantinos Farsalinos and Anastasia Barbouni1 released a research paper on the 23rd March and updated the study on the 4th April, suggesting that there is a correlation where nicotine interacts with the inflammatory process and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis involved in the development of COVID-19.
Although the study was released on the 21st April, the media coverage has been relatively small, and finding out about it on social media is also a challenge. For the skeptical, they may feel there is an unfair coverage when vaping could be hailed as a positive thing.
France, however, are placing restrictions on the purchase of nicotine patches in pharmacies and shops. They do not want members of the general public rushing out buying these products as they may have a negative impact on the general health of the public.
Although this study has some merits, it should not be misunderstood as fact. The research is only in its primary phase and we need to wait for more solidified studies to concluded.
If, and it’s a big if, this study does conclude with positive results, then we as vapers could see the price of nicotine boom as there would likely be a shortage, as countries all over the world start to stockpile and use nicotine to protect front line workers and personnel against the virus.