Sweden undertakes study to find if nicotine in snus protects against coronavirus and covid-19
The epidemiology and medicine center (Centrum för epidemiologi och samhällsmedicin, CES) in Stockholm has undertaken a study to see if snusprotects from a serious cocronavirus infection. Their hypothesis is that nicotine in the commonly used tobacco product curbs the virus causing the covid-19 disease.
CES director, professor Cecilia Magnusson tells Dagens Nyheter that the initiative for the study came from colleagues in Frace. According to DN a French study indicated that a very small percentage of people admitted to hospitals were smokers. Also an English study indicated that smokers were under represented among deaths caused by covid-19.
Now CES is going through Sweden's health and statistics to find if nicotine has properties protecting against coronavirus. One hypothesis says nicotice could prevent the spreading of the virus by attaching to the same cell receptors that the virus does. This is especially meaningful in Sweden because a large portion of the country's nicotine users get their nicotine fix in the form of snus.
According to a recent study 53% of Swedes think the tobacco product is "great" and 47% thinks it is "disgusting". Nevertheless it is a unique opportunity to see if nicotine has an effect on the corona virus.
Magnusson expects results from the study within two months. If it is found to be a useful drug, nicotine could be prescribed as medicine against the coronavirus.