Here in the Basel, Switzerland area there are mask mandates when shopping or taking public transit. Yet every day when I walk to or from the train station, I see dozens of people smoking outside the station or in smoking areas in the station.

Obviously they're not wearing masks. Presumably some of the smoke comes from their burning cigarettes, but some of it they exhale. There's no way to tell which type I'm inhaling, but I can tell I'm inhaling it from the smell and the taste, and these ear-loop masks don't block the smoke.

Assume we have two groups of people standing around outside. No one in either group is wearing masks. In one group, everyone is smoking.

Am I at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19 from the smoking group (and their exhaled smoke) than I am from the group breathing ordinary air?

  • Have you researched this somewhere?
    – Thomas
    Aug 28, 2020 at 11:55
  • There are probably no direct studies on this, according to an Aug 10 article, but it seems somewhat plausible Covid-19 is transmitted through smoke as well. Aug 28, 2020 at 13:01
  • @Thomas If "researched" means "did some Googling" then yes, but I didn't see anything conclusive.
    – Kyralessa
    Aug 28, 2020 at 14:46
  • I think the question would be better if it asked whether exhaling during smoking increased the risk of transmission somehow (aside of not wearing a mask).
    – Thomas
    Aug 28, 2020 at 14:48
  • If you're smelling smoke then you're inhaling the air someone exhaled. That is what transmits COVID. I doubt anyone has done a study investigating whether smoking increases or decreases transmission.
    – Carey Gregory
    Aug 28, 2020 at 16:15


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