28 Scopus citations


Statistical surveys of COVID-19 patients indicate, against all common logic, that people who smoke are less prone to the infection and/or exhibit less severe respiratory symptoms than non-smokers. This suggests that nicotine may have some preventive or modulatory effect on the inflammatory response in the lungs. Because it is known that the response to, and resolution of the SARS-CoV-2 infection depends mainly on the lung macrophages, we discuss the recent scientific findings, which may explain why and how nicotine may modulate lung macrophage response during COVID-19 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-29
Number of pages2
JournalImmunology Letters
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome - ARDS
  • COVID-19
  • Cytokine storm
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation
  • Lungs
  • Macrophages
  • Nicotine
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • α4/α7 Nicotinic Ach receptors - nAChRs
  • Humans
  • Cytokines/immunology
  • Pandemics/prevention & control
  • Protective Factors
  • Lung/drug effects
  • Receptors, Nicotinic/drug effects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smokers
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Nicotine/administration & dosage
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Macrophages/drug effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage
  • alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/agonists
  • Nicotinic Agonists/administration & dosage
  • Betacoronavirus/drug effects
  • Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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