Disinfo: Smoking protects against coronavirus

Summary

People who smoke cigarettes do not get coronavirus. No conspiracy theories.

Disproof

The information has no evidence. Another conspiracy theory about coronavirus.

In fact, smokers' lungs, weakened by smoking, are much more susceptible to respiratory diseases. According to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, smokers are 14 times more likely to become infected with coronavirus than non-smokers.

The author of the “verified data” on smoking is a Russian journalist, an adviser to the general director of the main Russian Channel One, who posted on his Instagram. The post of Nevzorov was instantly distributed by the Russian media.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, WHO

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Disproof

This is an unfounded narrative promoted by the Kremlin to highlight that the EU has been incapable in making common decisions and reaching common solutions to the coronavirus outbreak. This news article is ignoring certain initiatives by EU institutions such as the decisions made by the Eurogroup on a common economic policy response and the European Commission on closing temporarily the EU borders for 30 days to protect health but also the announcement made by the European Central Bank (ECB) to launch a 750 billion euros Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) to help the public and the private sector. See related pro-Kremlin disinformation cases about the coronavirus.

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Disproof

Conspiracy theory about the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about biological weapons. The narratives also resemble a recurring conspiracy theory about the Lugar Lab in Georgia.

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Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. One of many recurring Kremlin disinformation narratives claiming that the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus is man-made.

COVID-19 is not a biological weapon. A recent analysis of the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus found no evidence that it was developed artificially in a lab or otherwise engineered. The virus comes from a family of viruses originating in animals that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in central China and has been rapidly spreading across the world. The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 300,000 globally with over 14,000 deaths by 23 March 2020. Cases have been reported in 190 countries, territories and areas.