A study from the University of California, San Francisco looked at 8,400 young people and suggested that smoking is a risk for complications from the virus, along with diabetes, asthma, obesity and other health conditions.
The numbers get pretty convoluted, but a UC San Francisco article sums it up. Essentially, it says that among nonsmokers, about 16 percent of young people are susceptible to serious complications from COVID-19. In the overall group which includes smokers, that number roughly doubles to 31.5 percent.
From the UC San Francisco website:
“Recent evidence indicates that smoking is associated with a higher likelihood of COVID-19 progression, including increased illness severity, ICU admission or death,” said Dr. Sally Adams of US San Francisco. “Smoking may have significant effects in young adults, who typically have low rates for most chronic diseases.”
“The risk of being medically vulnerable to severe disease is halved when smokers are removed from the sample,” said senior author Charles Irwin Jr., MD, of the UCSF Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine. “Efforts to reduce smoking and e-cigarette use among young adults would likely lower their vulnerability to severe disease.”
UC San Francisco is a major research center into tobacco studies.
This study contradicts an earlier study that seemed to suggest that nicotine somehow protected people’s lungs from COVID-19. That study was done very early during the pandemic and I was pretty skeptical of it from the get go.