The article emphasizes that among smokers, the number of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 is less than among non-smokers. On the other hand, smoking has been shown to be a contributing factor to the disease. To understand how these conflicting data relate to each other, Japanese scientists investigated how exactly tobacco smoke affects the likelihood of contracting COVID-19.
It turned out that the matter is in the ingredients of tobacco smoke, which contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which can be toxic and carcinogenic, but in the case of SARS-CoV-2 viruses, PAHs can suppress the formation of ACE-2 receptors, which are the “gateway” to the body is for the coronavirus, without these receptors it cannot “dock” with human cells. Therefore, smokers are less likely to get coronavirus.
At the same time, it is noted in a study of Japanese scientists, if a smoker nevertheless becomes infected with SARS-CoV-2, then more often he has a severe form of COVID-19.
Researchers have identified substances that inhibit the formation of ACE-2 receptors, and created from these substances an extract of tobacco smoke, which they believe may be useful in the treatment of disease.