You may have seen the headlines: Smoking protects people from the new coronavirus. But this is one case where you shouldn’t believe everything you read.
The false narrative put out by a number of news outlets highlights an underlying problem. Scientific studies can be complicated, and it’s easy for non-experts, including reporters, to misread their findings.
The data on smoking and COVID-19 is buried in a wide-ranging report from Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.