The recent Harvard Howler study claiming to link PM2.5 in outdoor air with increased risk of death from COVID-19 was always obvious junk science. And that reality is now underscored by this new study showing an inverse relationship between smoking and death from COVID-19.

Smoking is a very intense exposure to PM2.5. In breathing an hour of average US air, you will shallowly inhale less than 9 micrograms of PM2.5. Compare that with smoking a single cigarette during which you will deeply inhale anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 micrograms of PM2.5.

The Harvard Howler claimed that every extra 1 microgram of PM2.5 inhaled per hour increased the risk of COVID-19 death by 15%.

But this new study from University of Washington and Stanford University researchers reports an inverse relationship between smoking and death from COVID-19 — i.e., countries with higher rates of smoking had lower rates of death from COVID-19.

If the Harvard Howler claim were true, that relationship would be just the opposite.

The new study is here (Web | PDF).

Although the new study has yet to be peer-reviewed, it is not the first study to report this inverse association.

The new study doesn’t show that smoking is protective against COVID-19, but it does show that PM2.5 doesn’t worsen COVID-19.

The Harvard Howler is just fraudulent trash.


June 24, 2020 at 12:06PM