Articles worth reading

‘Build, Build, Build’ prepares for future

account_balanceMetro Manila access_time4 days ago

With the Duterte administration entering its final year, the “Build, Build, Build” program continues to deliver its promise of creating infrastructure that improves the lives of Filipinos in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and other cha...

BSP's 28-day bill rate rises

account_balanceMetro Manila access_time4 days ago

The rate of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 28-day securities increased Friday amid the strong demand for the paper, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. The weighted average rate of the debt paper rose to 1.8109 percent fro...

Metro News

Consumer group asks DOH to have an open mind on nicotine

account_balanceMetro News account_circleSinagtala chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

A consumer group cited the need to focus on emerging scientific evidence to inform and shape the debates around safer nicotine products and tobacco harm reduction amid a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about nicotine. 

“People should stop fear-mongering on nicotine and instead look at it through objective, science-informed eyes. It is not the nicotine that causes serious harms, but the tar and poisonous gases produced by combustible cigarettes,” said Antonio Israel president of the Nicotine Consumers Union of the Philippines.

According to Israel, smoking tobacco is the most harmful way of using nicotine. “But many people find it hard to stop smoking because it is very difficult for them to go without nicotine. Fortunately, less harmful nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products have been developed to help people switch from smoking and thus avoid its many health risks.”

Israel cited a new French study entitled “A nicotinic hypothesis for COVID-19 with preventive and therapeutic implications”. It suggested a substance in tobacco, possibly nicotine, may be preventing patients who smoke from getting sick with COVID-19.

“Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop a symptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population,” the researchers concluded. “The effect is significant. It divides the risk by five for ambulatory patients and by four for those admitted to hospital. We rarely see this in medicine.” They are awaiting approval from French health authorities to conduct further studies using nicotine patches on COVID-19 patients and health workers at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital.

The researchers from Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris and the Pasteur Institute questioned 480 patients at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital who tested positive for COVID-19, 350 of whom were hospitalized while the rest with less serious symptoms were allowed home. They found that of those admitted to hospital, whose median age was 65, only 4.4% were regular smokers. Among those released home, with a median age of 44, 5.3% smoked. The researchers stressed that they were not encouraging people to smoke, and pointed out that smokers who become sick with COVID-19 often develop more serious symptoms.

A renowned French neurobiologist, Dr. Jean-Pierre Changeux, reviewed the study and suggested that nicotine might stop the virus from reaching cells in the body thereby preventing its spread. He added that nicotine may also dampen the overreaction of the body’s immune system, which has been found in the most severe COVID-19 cases.

The findings of the French study and researchers’ plans to conduct follow-up studies underscore the rapidly developing science in relation to nicotine, according to Israel. “Scientific knowledge about nicotine has come a long way since 1976 when Professor Michael Russell, a pioneer in the study of tobacco dependence, famously said, ‘People smoke for nicotine but die from the tar.’”

Tar refers to the combustion products of cigarettes produced by the burning of organic matter, dried tobacco leaf. These combustion products are burned at a temperature of over 800ºC, which produces many toxins (carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, DDT, etc.) that are subsequently inhaled by the smoker.

Israel urged the DOH and local policymakers to “keep an open mind” on tobacco harm reduction and the role of safer nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, which can help people switch from smoking. “Making lower-risk nicotine products available can help the estimated 16 million Filipino smokers switch and eventually quit smoking. This can help reduce serious sickness and premature death linked to tobacco smoking.” 


date_rangeDate Published
1 year ago
shareShare article
folder_openArticle tags
content_copyCategorized under

Share your thoughts with us

Related Articles

Gov't concerned over oil price hikes 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode3 days ago

Malacañang is saddened over another round of oil price hikes this week amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark ...

IABC Philippines elects board of trustees 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode1 day ago

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines announced its new Board of Trustees for 2021 - 2023 with proven expertise and fresh perspectives in the dynamic field of business communications. The diverse group of tr...

PHIVOLCS launches mobile app 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode1 day ago

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) introduced a mobile application, VolcanoPH Info, to raise public awareness on volcano hazards for better preparedness, according to a report by GMA News. In a statement on Tuesday, th...

Photo Courtesy of Reuters/Lisa Marie David

Lawmakers support Duterte's new face shield policy 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode6 days ago

Some lawmakers at the House of Representatives lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s new policy to ease the government’s face shield requirement by allowing its use only in hospitals, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. In...

Let's Stay Connected Like us on our Facebook page.
×
Click on the article to continue reading
Quezon City adopts no contact apprehension system Red Cross pushes saliva test Vaccines from COVAX to arrive in Q1 Makati Shangri-La to close doors on Feb. 1 Cities in NCR to start vaccination simultaneously Mother, girlfriend of Filipino infected with UK variant also test positive Send Press Release MNC Facebook Page MNC Twitter Page MNC Instagram Page LGU Spotlight Barangay Front Business Sports Entertainment Metro Gen Metro Feature