Insights from Quadrant

Can’t be too careful

As a source of apolitical medical news and analysis, The Lancet has been a dubious messenger for more than a few recent years. Climate alarmism, the mortal perils of Brexit, voters electing the wrong candidates, mangled statistics — all give cause to approach the British medical journal and its conclusions with a good deal of caution. The latest Lancet pronouncement, however, will cheer members of a much put-upon and shunned minority: smokers.

The final unexpected finding was the lower frequency of critical cases and deaths in countries with a higher smoking prevalence. . .  A potential protective effect of smoking was identified in a recent evaluation of 17 million adult patients within the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, with 5683 COVID related deaths. In their analysis, current smokers were associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19 related mortality.

This will be much appreciated by nicotine fiends, especially those in Dan Andrews’ locked-down Victoria, where the Premier somehow resisted the urge to regulate every single one of his subjects’ conduct, desires and vices by granting smokers the right to remove their masks in order to enjoy a dart.

Powerline has an explainer on the latest Lancet epistle, which also insists lockdowns don’t do all that much good — if, indeed, they are of any use at all.

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