About 2.2 million people in the United Kingdom may be smoking more than their usual number of cigarettes amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey conducted by YouGov.

The survey’s results on Wednesday, also showed that 4.8 million people in the UK are still smoking the same amount before the coronavirus pandemic while 1.8 million people are estimated to have cut down on smoking.

About 2,000 people were surveyed about the topic from April 30 to May 13 by YouGov’s COVID-19 tracker.

Earlier this month, a French study showed that nicotine appears to play a protective role against the coronavirus as it influences virus molecules from attaching to receptors in the body. The study had prompted trials in countries like France and Wales where patients, front-line workers, and citizens were provided with nicotine patches.

The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), however, has warned Smoking can make people more susceptible to serious complications from a coronavirus infection. Smokers have also appeared to be more susceptible to breathing complications caused by the disease, and the ECDC said it was advisable to identify them as a potentially vulnerable group.