Snus tobacco products are regularly brought into Finland from Sweden (Image: Pixabay)

News in brief

A GROUP OF SCIENTISTS IN SWEDEN has begun conducting research into the possibility that snus, the Swedish tobacco product that enjoys widespread popularity in Finland, may offer some protection from coronavirus infection. 

The impetus for the research comes after a number of trials in countries such as France and China revealed that the rate of smokers being hospitalized from coronavirus was significantly lower than the rate of smokers in the general population. In France, the findings resulted in health authorities testing nicotine patches on patients and medical staff, in order to determine whether a property in nicotine reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection. 

In Sweden, researchers are seeking to look at existing data to see if those hospitalized from COVID-19 were snus users. Around 1.1 million people, or 12% of Sweden's population, reports to taking snus on a regular basis, meaning that any correlation would be pronounced. 

Researchers are also looking at conducting running tests and monitoring health workers and patients who contract the virus and have a history of snus use. 

Despite the possible correlation, there is no concrete evidence linking the use of tobacco products to a lower risk of contracting the coronavirus. Meanwhile, there is evidence to suggest that, once contracted, the symptoms of coronavirus are more severe in smokers than in non-smokers. Regular snus usage has also been linked to a range of cancers and oral diseases.


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva