- A new study by Stanford researchers found that teens and young adults who vape are far more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those who do not.
- Teenagers who vape are 5-7 times more likely to get COVID-19 than non-e-cigarette users.
- In a letter to the US FDA, lawmakers advised the agency to temporarily clear the market of all e-cigarettes during the pandemic.
COVID-19 pandemic is actively spreading across the globe, and irrespective of the age group, with countries that had dealt with it earlier now facing the second wave of infection. People across all age groups are getting affected, though previous data have demonstrated that children, teenagers, and adults have a reduced likelihood of getting severe COVID-19 symptoms, caused by SARS-CoV-2.
However, a few individuals are at an increased risk of getting COVID-19, including the aged, people having weak immune systems or those who have other diseases, such as lung disease, severe heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes, among others. Several healthcare players are actively involved in COVID-19 vaccine development at present though we have no approved vaccines yet.
To know about more about the latest updates around vaccine development, click here.
Recently, a new study by Stanford researchers found that teens and young adults who vape are far more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those who do not have vaping habits. As per the study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health on 11 August 2020, young individuals who have vaping and smoking habits are 5-7 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19. However, an individual who only vapes was five times as likely to be diagnosed with the disease.
Both cigarette and e-cigarette use damage to the respiratory system, potentially increasing the risk of experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms.
There are several potential reasons why the use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes both or only use of e-cigarette are associated with a higher possibility of getting infected by SARS-CoV-2. Some studies relate it with the heightened exposure to nicotine and other chemicals which are present in e-cigarettes that adversely affects the functioning of the lungs. Other studies have demonstrated that lung damage triggered by e-cigarettes is equivalent to combustible cigarettes.
Lawmakers Urge the FDA to Clear e-cigarettes from the market amid COVID-19 pandemic temporarily
In a letter to the US FDA, lawmakers advised the agency to temporarily clear the market of e-cigarettes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairman Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, Raja Krishnamoorthi stated in his letter to the FDA-
It was mentioned in the letter that e-cigarette users are also posing an outsized burden on COVID-19 testing resources. The Stanford University-led study found that the past 30-day dual users are nearly nine times more likely to have been tested for COVID-19 than non-users.
COVID-19 and Vaping
Use of e-cigarettes or vaping has been labelled in a series of mysterious lung diseases, since then, doctors and health specialists have warned against vaping due to its effects on the lungs. The scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine have given a warning against vaping due to the heightened the risk of COVID-19.
Experts at Stanford University School of Medicine were the first to examine relationships between vaping among adolescents & young adults and COVID-19 using the data based on US population that was collected throughout the global medical emergency.
The study intended to determine whether the use of cigarette and e-cigarette affecting the youth and linked to COVID-19 symptoms, testing, along with the diagnosis. The finding of the study reported a heightened risk of receiving COVID-19 testing.
Teen vapers 5-7 times more likely to get COVID-19 than non-e-cigarette users
The World Health Organization found that the proportion of young people (aged 15 to 24) getting infected with COVID-19 has recently risen dramatically.
According to WHO data, there have been more than 20.16 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 737,417 reported deaths as of 12 August 2020 (at AEST 5:05 PM).
Professor of paediatrics at Harvard Medical School and MassGeneral Hospital for Children stated that “Using e-cigs is sort of like the anti-mask”.
Some scientists say the effect of regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes on the lungs could be one possible reason for the increased risk of developing COVID-19. Another could be that the users are taking their close to their face more frequently, which is one way some specialists stated the coronavirus could spread.
Additionally, s-cigarette users are known to share devices usually, so someone with COVID-19 could spread the virus to someone else using the same device; however, during the lockdown, there are fewer chances of getting the infection by sharing the same device.
Young people might think that their age shields them from contracting the coronavirus or that they will not experience symptoms of COVID-19, but the data shows this is not true among those who vape as suggested by one study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Moreover, the study disclosed that young people who had used both cigarettes, as well as e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, were almost 5-7 times more likely to get COVID-19 symptoms.
The situation of COVID-19 pandemic is becoming worse day by day. In the absence of any approved treatment/vaccine, we can only prevent the spread of this deadly infection by maintaining hygiene, following social distancing norms and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Hence, it is imperative that health care service providers, community-based organizations, schools, parents, and policymakers help the youth understand the link between smoking & vaping and COVID-19.
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