An article published by Hopkinson and others in the British Medical Journal Thorax looked at this important issue.
They tried to associate current tobacco smoking with the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 and the severity of illness.
They looked at the users of the ZOE COVID-19 symptom study app to provide a baseline data which included demographics, smoking status and medical conditions and whose users had been asked to log their condition daily.
Participants who reported that they did not feel physically normal were then asked by the app to complete a series of questions including 14 potential COVID-19 symptoms and about hospital attendance.
The main study outcome was the development of classic COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, new persistent cough and breathlessness and their association with current smoking. The symptoms were then compared between smokers and non-smokers.
2401982 participants were reviewed.
The mean age was 43.6 years, 63.3% were female and the overall smoking prevalence was 11%.
834437 that is 35% of participants reported being unwell and entered one or more symptoms.
Current smokers were more likely to report symptoms that suggested a diagnosis of COVID-19.
The pattern of association between reported symptoms did not vary between smokers and non-smokers.
The data was consistent with people who smoke being at increased risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19.
Dr Paul Ettlinger
BM, DRCOG, FRCGP, FRIPH, DOccMed