Nicotine has no significant cytoprotective activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection

Fang Zheng, Elena Lian, Gaby Ramirez, Carley McAlister, Shuo Zhou, Wen Zhang, Chunming Liu, Rushika Perera, Chang Guo Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


When coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a pandemic, one of most important questions was whether people who smoke are at more risk of COVID-19 infection. A number of clinical data have been reported in the literature so far, but controversy exists in the collection and interpretation of the data. Particularly, there is a controversial hypothesis that nicotine might be able to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the present study, motivated by the reported controversial clinical data and the controversial hypothesis, we carried out cytotoxicity assays in Vero E6 cells to examine the potential cytoprotective activity of nicotine against SARS-CoV-2 infection and demonstrated for the first time that nicotine had no significant cytoprotective activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in these cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0272941
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Zheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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