Smokers 45 per cent more likely to die from Covid-19 

28 July 2022
1 min read

Data collated from the American Heart Association’s Covid-19 CVD Registry to determine the impact of smoking and vaping among patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has been revealed. 

The report found that patients who reported smoking or vaping prior to admission experienced more severe complications, and death, from the SARS-CoV-2 infection.  

The study has several key limitations as the data provided by 107 hospitals did not distinguish between smokers of traditional, combustible or e-cigarettes. No information was also provided on the duration of smoking or former smoker status. 

Key findings included:  

  • People who reported smoking were 45 per cent more likely to die and 39 per cent more likely to receive mechanical ventilation when compared with those who did not smoke. 
  • Smoking was a stronger risk factor for death in people between 18-59 years of age and those who were white or had obesity. 

The study’s senior author and co-director of the American Heart Association’s Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science, Aruni Bhatnagar said, “In general, people who smoke or vape tend to have a higher prevalence of other health conditions and risk factors that could play a role in how they are impacted by Covid-19. However, the robust and significant increase in the risk of severe Covid-19 seen in our study, independent of medical history and medication use and particularly among young individuals, underscores the urgent need for extensive public health interventions such as anti-smoking campaigns and increased access to cessation therapy, especially in the age of covid. 

“These findings provide the clearest evidence to date that people who smoke or vape have a higher risk of developing severe Covid-19 and dying as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection.”