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Nicotine patches - a defence against covid 19?

(30 Posts)
Dinahmo Thu 23-Apr-20 12:51:08

Doctors in France ask people admitted to hospital whether they smoke. 25% of the French population do smoke but only around 8.5% of those admitted to hospital with covid 19 were smokers. These figures are taken from 11,000 people admitted to hospital in the Paris area.

Their findings are now to be verified in a clinical study using frontline workers, those with covid 19 symptoms and those in intensive care, using nicotine patches.

Apparently a study of 1000 patients in China, where 28% of the population smoke found 12.6% of those with the virus were smokers.

The French are warning people not to start smoking because of the health dangers. However, it would be amazing if the use of nicotine patches proved to be beneficial because, I assume, they must be readily available and relatively cheap.

MawB Thu 23-Apr-20 13:13:12

However, it would be amazing if the use of nicotine patches proved to be beneficial because, I assume, they must be readily available and relatively cheap
1) Smoking damages your lungs and your heart and therefore puts you at increased risk should you catch the virus.
2) Nicotine patches can help you to give up smoking.
However to extrapolate from that ,3) that nicotine patches are a possible defence against Covid19 is really a bridge too far for me!
A dangerous suggestion IMO

GagaJo Thu 23-Apr-20 13:17:10

My ex had ulcerative colitis and was told that nicotine was good for it and that giving up smoking would ;and did) lead to a relapse in the UC.

NfkDumpling Thu 23-Apr-20 13:20:38

Perhaps chewing tobacco? No spitting though!

jane1956 Thu 23-Apr-20 13:23:26

they must be readily available and relatively cheap.

bet they are not now!!

Oopsminty Thu 23-Apr-20 13:27:06

They are seeing a surprisingly low number of smokers being hospitalised

One would have assumed they'd be a high risk category but it appears not

Niobe Thu 23-Apr-20 13:32:21

It’s the tar in cigarettes that damages the lungs and the nicotine is what makes smoking addictive. Nicotine patches deliver a small dose of nicotine to allow smokers to wean themselves off cigarettes but I remember an ex colleague who was very dependent on the patches. He had been using them for about 2 years. And he complained bitterly about the expense. Seems we can’t win against this flipping virus !

MawB Thu 23-Apr-20 13:34:10

Paw also had UC all his adult life which progressed to PSC destroying his liver, and every clinic or hospitalisation, when asked whether he smoked, his reply in the negative got the response “Good”.

Oopsminty Thu 23-Apr-20 13:37:55

I don't think anyone is suggesting that it's good to smoke

It's just an interesting fact that it is becoming evident that smokers are not as at risk as one would have thought

Maybe it is the nicotine. Who knows.

GagaJo Thu 23-Apr-20 13:47:34

Maw, my ex had private healthcare with an expert in the field, following almost dying from a haemorrhage in his ileocecal valve, resulting in a life-saving hemicolectomy. He had been undiagnosed up to that point at the age of 47 although looking back, had obviously had problems in that area for many years.

He'd been a life-long smoker but was told (as I noted above) by his consultant that giving up smoking would worsen the UC. He wasn't inclined to try to give up at that point, given the stress of the emergency op, his time in ITU and the fairly prolonged recovery.

However, he did later go on to give up smoking and as predicted, his UC did worsen. NOT, please note, that the consultant had told him to continue smoking, just that giving up would make it worse.

I've just Googled it and this was at the top of the page.

EllanVannin Thu 23-Apr-20 13:48:50

If this is the case why not experiment with the raw material itself---the tobacco leaf ?

EllanVannin Thu 23-Apr-20 13:57:48

I'm a smoker but have always looked after myself too. Even my oxygen levels are higher than normal for my age so no damage there after all these years.
Oxygen levels in an older person are usually an accepted 94%, mine is 98% which denotes a healthy individual and is found in a much younger person generally with a good lung function.

My best thinking/writing is done when smokinggrin I have about 4 or 5 a day, so not exactly a chain-smoker , and it keeps me calm too.

Dinahmo Thu 23-Apr-20 14:31:46

MawB the doctors in France have evidence that the proportion of smokers admitted to hospital is much smaller than the percentage of the population so it seems reasonable that they do some clinical trials. The use of nicotine patches may be a bridge too far for you, but they are the experts.

EllenVannin The French have started to grow tobacco again - not sure why but perhaps someone had a premonition! I don't know when or why but we first noticed fields of tobacco two years ago.

Grannybags Thu 23-Apr-20 14:36:21

This made me think of my lovely Mum. A life long smoker (she lived to be 97!) she always said that one day they'd find something that smoking was good for.

Made me smile smile

Sussexborn Thu 23-Apr-20 14:48:24

There was an item on tv about tobacco being grown in the West Country a while back and tea.

A builder friend of ours should be ok. He had six nicotine patches on and continued to chain smoke.

Franbern Thu 23-Apr-20 16:18:12

Gagajo - I suffered very badly from UC for over ten years before I finally gave in and had a permanent ileostomy with so much taken away That operation went badly wrong, so I had four operations in five days and five days in Intensive Care. I was just 50 years of age.
During the time in ITU, my children were repeatedly told that had I been a smoker (I had actually given up nearly 18 years earlier), there would have been little chance of my survival.
In all the time I attended clinics for UC and took so much medication, NEVER told to go back to smoking.
Yes, stress aggravates this condition, so a sufferer may find that trying to give up might cause more stress and a further attack of this horrible illness.

EllanVannin Thu 23-Apr-20 16:29:23

Dinahmo, I used to smoke the French cigarettes years ago.
Gauloises and Gitanes. Pure leaf without additives unlike UK's.

Interesting that France is growing tobacco. Good to know.

I was surprised at the many doctors who smoked when I worked at the hospital.

Dinahmo Thu 23-Apr-20 19:46:53

I didn't try French cigarettes but still remember the Gitanes posters on the tube. I used to stand opposite one while waiting for my tube because the man in the photo was very appealing (to me). My cigarettes of choice were Piccadilly, Sobranie Cocktail and Dunhills, depending on what I was doing and where I was going. But I gave up more than 40 years ago.

growstuff Thu 23-Apr-20 19:57:53

I wouldn't get too excited.

There's a correlation, but there might not be a causal link.

About half of those admitted to hospital are elderly (80+?). It's also claimed that many of them live in care homes. Are people allowed to smoke in care homes? (I don't know.)

It would be great if there really is a simple treatment, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Apparently, the corona virus spikes are covered in sugary polymers called glycans, which are similar to the nasties which cause meningitidis, which are the main cause of bacterial meningitis. Coronavirus is obviously different because it's a virus, but there is some progress in discovering how to destroy the covering. It's all going to take time.

Alexa Thu 23-Apr-20 22:34:46

Inhaled steam with tincture of piperidine alkaloids is possibly therapeutic? I bought some tincture of benzoin for steam inhalation if I get a cough.

GagaJo Thu 23-Apr-20 22:42:00

I don't doubt it Franbern, and I'm sorry you had such an awful time. Before my ex had UC, I didn't know the condition existed. Given his lack of diagnosis despite many, many bowel problems over the years, leading to a 13 hour operation emergency operation and being very near death, he refused to wait for follow up treatment on the NHS and got a private consultant.

There is however lots of evidence that nicotine helps UC. Do a quick Google. Plus what ex was told by his consultant. It is widely known. As I said, he doesn't smoke now. But his UC is not great ATM. He's on steroids to try to control it ATM.

MawB Thu 23-Apr-20 23:28:03

Inhaled steam with tincture of piperidine alkaloids is possibly therapeutic? I bought some tincture of benzoin for steam inhalation if I get a cough
Snake oil, Alexa. .

Alexa Fri 24-Apr-20 18:20:34

These old fashioned remedies such as Friars' balsam steam inhalations may seem to many like snake oil . I do not believe they are useless. I have handed more old fashioned steam inhalations in Nelson's antique inhalers to patients , and for myself, than I could count. Steam is good for loosening tenacious sputum.

MawB Fri 24-Apr-20 19:56:35

Nobody said Friars Balsam was useless, just that it won’t do anything against the coronavirus Alexa

Some variations of this claim add other ingredients to the boiling water or steam, such as orange or lemon ( here ) and peppermint oil ( here ). Another post explains: "This technique will kill the Rona in your nasal passage and throat. Add essential oils or slices of the following for added benefits. Garlic, ginger, cayenne, tea tree, eucalyptus, or neem. There are many others you can add. Do a google search for "antiviral herbs foods" to see if anything you already have in your kitchen will work

These claims advise people to boil water, sometimes with other ingredients, then place their face over the steam and inhale in order to kill or eliminate the coronavirus. Some posts advise the user to do this for 15 minutes or however long they can stand.

One post claims: "Steam heat treatment for respiratory viruses. A natural remedy that kills Coronavirus, Influenza, Rhinovirus.

Neither the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nor the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest steam therapy with any ingredient as a cure for the coronavirus. A representative from the CDC told Reuters that he was not aware of any scientific studies that show steam therapy helps with the coronavirus. 

Steam therapy can help thin mucus as a supplemental course of action to give some relief when grappling a cold or flu ( here ) but overall, scientific studies showing evidence of its usefulness are lacking

Alexa Sat 25-Apr-20 10:19:37

MawB in the absence of a specific means of artificially deactivating the virus any symptomatic intervention that works is worth the effort.