Double-jabbed ex-smoker, 46, says he can now only smell CIGARETTES after he caught Covid 


Double-jabbed ex-smoker, 46, says he can now only smell CIGARETTES after he caught Covid

  • Mark Cowell says he can now only smell cigarettes after he caught Covid
  • Father-of-four says side effect smell makes him feel like he’s smoking 30 a day
  • Mr Cowell was double-jabbed with AstraZeneca but still caught virus last month










A double-jabbed former smoker claims he can now only smell cigarettes after he caught Covid.  

Father-of-four Mark Cowell, 46, says the side effect smell makes him feel like he’s smoking 30 cigarettes a day and that the constant ashtray aroma is making him depressed.

The health and safety manager, of Blackpool, was double-jabbed with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine but still caught the virus last month.

Double-jabbed people who catch the so-called Indian variant are just as likely to develop symptoms and spread Covid as the unvaccinated, a study by Oxford University found. 

Though fully vaccinated people are significantly less likely to be infected, those who do get Covid have a similar peak ‘viral load’ as the unvaccinated – meaning infected people ‘shed’ the same amount of virus when they cough or sneeze, regardless of vaccination.

Father-of-four Mark Cowell, 46, says the side effect smell makes him feel like he's smoking 30 cigarettes a day and that the constant ashtray aroma is making him depressed

Father-of-four Mark Cowell, 46, says the side effect smell makes him feel like he’s smoking 30 cigarettes a day and that the constant ashtray aroma is making him depressed

The NHS lists loss or changes to taste and smell as a side effects of both Covid-19 and 'long Covid'

The NHS lists loss or changes to taste and smell as a side effects of both Covid-19 and ‘long Covid’

He says his only symptom was a cough and a croaky sensation in his throat like he’d been smoking ‘100 cigarettes a day’.

Mr Cowell lost his sense of smell, a common Covid side effect, while isolating, but is fortunately still able to taste food.

He claims his sense of smell partially returned about a month ago but that he constantly gets a phantom whiff of cigarettes, which apparently plagues his nostrils every 30 minutes.

Mr Cowell used smoked about 30 Old Holborn roll ups a day from the age of 18 until he was 34. He kicked the habit in 2009 after suffering from shortness of breath and persistent chest infections.

‘Catching Covid has made me feel like I’m back smoking thirty a day again,’ he said.

‘It’s a smoky cigarette dirty ashtray smell and it really makes me feel unclean because it feels like I actually smell like that, which is quite worrying.

Britain's daily Covid cases fell again today, official data revealed

Britain’s daily Covid cases fell again today, official data revealed

‘Possibly it’s a new variant of Covid-19 I got or maybe it’s just affecting me differently to other people.’

He added: ‘It’s very disturbing because, as an ex smoker, it’s one of the worst things you can smell. I can’t even bear the smell when I walk past people who are smoking.

‘So to smell cigarettes constantly is quite depressing.

‘I’m usually quite upbeat but throughout the day all I can smell is cigarettes and it makes me feel depressed.’

Mr Cowell plans to consult his GP about the persistant fag ash smell.

The NHS lists loss or changes to taste and smell as a side effects of both Covid-19 and ‘long Covid’.  

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