Coronavirus and tobacco: the sale of nicotine substitutes limited

Nicotine could have preventive and therapeutic effects against the Covid-19 coronavirus. In any case, this is the hypothesis that has animated the scientific community in recent days. In order to avoid pharmacy rushes, the government has decided tosupervise the sale of nicotine substitutes.

A stopped published Friday April 24 at Official newspaper hears on the one hand “avoid excessive consumption or misuse linked to the media coverage of a possible protective action of nicotine against Covid-19 “. And on the other hand”guarantee supply continuous and suitable for people requiring medication support in the context of smoking cessation. “

One month maximum treatment

Until May 11, 2020, dispensing by pharmacies of specialties containing nicotine and used in the treatment of tobacco dependence is limited to the number of boxes necessary for a treatment lasting 1 month “, states the decree which specifies that “the number of dispensed boxes is entered in the pharmaceutical file, whether or not the patient has presented a medical prescription”. the sale of these products by internet is suspended.

Does Nicotine Protect Smokers From Coronavirus?

Nearly 70,000 tobacco deaths per year

The published data highlights a low proportion of smokers in patients with Covid-19. However, “this observation does not allow us to conclude that nicotine has a protective effect against the disease,” said ANSM, the Medicines Agency, in a press release. Therapeutic trials and a clinical study are currently underway, however, this should not encourage smokers to increase their consumption to protect themselves from the virus. Tobacco, the cause of nearly 70,000 deaths each year, remains the number one cause of preventable death in France.

The nicotine substitutes should only be used as part of the treatment of tobacco dependence. They are formally contraindicated in non-smokers: “Like all medicines, they have side effects (discomfort, vomiting), all the more serious when taken by non-smokers. They can also lead to dependence, “warns the ANSM.

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