France limits nicotine sales after study shows it protects against coronavirus

The French government was forced on Friday to limit the sale of nicotine substitutes – including patches – and suspended their marketing on the Internet until 11 May to ensure supplies to ex-smokers who need them, pending further studies on their possible positive effect on coronavirus patients.

The decree with these restrictions comes days after the body that brings together public hospitals in the Paris region (AP-HP) launched a clinical trial with nicotine patches, noting that the percentage of coronavirus patients who are smokers is abnormally low.

The scientists leading the study hypothesized that nicotine could slow the progression of the virus by preventing it from attaching to cells.