This is another cloud on the horizon for e-cigarette companies.
A new Stanford study links vaping with a “significantly increased risk” of COVID-19 in adolescents and young adults. A national sample of more than 4,000 participants conducted in May found that vaped people were 5 to 7 times more likely to become infected with a new coronavirus than those who did not.
Among subjects tested for COVID-19, those who used e-cigarettes were five times more likely to be positive for the virus than those who did not. And those who used both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes in the past month are 6.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease.
Teenagers who smoke and smoke secondhand smoke are also five times more likely to report coronavirus symptoms, including cough, fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath, than those who have never smoked or inhaled. And this same group was about two to nine times more likely to be tested for the virus than non-smokers and non-smokers, perhaps because they were more likely to show symptoms.
“Young people may believe their age protects them from viral infection or they won̵7;t experience symptoms of COVID-19, but the data shows this is not true in vape people,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Shivani Mathur Gaiha, wrote in a statement. “This study tells us quite clearly that young people are taking vapes or biphasic [e-cigarettes and cigarettes] there is a high risk, and it’s not just a small increase in risk; it is a big one. ”
Some of the drawbacks include the fact that the study is based on self-reported reports from online surveys, and it also doesn’t give a reason why vaping would leave young people more susceptible to the virus. infected at least 20 million and killed 743,599 people worldwide as of Wednesday morning.
“It’s not just a small increase in risk; it is a big one. ”
However, a recent University of San Francisco report has shown that smoking, including e-cigarettes, doubles the risk of adolescents (18 to 25 years old) getting seriously ill from COVID-19. . “One key finding that is the most common factor leading to severe medical vulnerability to severe COVID-19 in young people is smoking,” the authors write.
And previous research has shown a link between vaping with both lung and heart disease. The American Heart Association also recently recommended that people “do not smoke or vape any substances, including cannabis products, as it can damage the heart, lungs and blood vessels.”
The study also warns that e-cigarettes actually encourage teenagers to try out traditional cigarettes, although these products are often marketed as an alternative to cigarettes and a means of quitting. leaves. In fact, the rate of ever smoker is four times higher if teenagers use e-cigarettes as their first tobacco product, a study of over 6,000 young adults found.
Read more:Steam can be more harmful to teenagers than we think
According to Stanford research, theories about why vaping can make adolescents more susceptible to COVID-19 include the potential damage it does to the lungs and immune system, or the ability to The aerosols emitted from an electronic vaping device may include droplets contaminated with COVID -19.
Furthermore, researchers have written that COVID-19 is known to spread through respiratory droplets and constantly touch your mouth and face – a common habit among people who use cigarettes and cigars. . Perhaps worse, teenagers often share vape pens and other e-cig devices together, which can also spread the virus.
Related:Dr. Fauci recommends wearing goggles to prevent coronavirus infection
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) Sent a letter to the FDA on behalf of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy on Tuesday calling for the temporary removal of vaping products from the market. He noted that he warned the FDA of a potential link between vaping and COVID-19 in April, but the agency cites more evidence that vaping is a risk. Krishnamoorthi wrote: “Failure in that act left us four months of damage to the Americans that we could not take back.
“I respectfully reiterate my call for the FDA to eliminate the market for all e-cigarettes during the time of the coronavirus crisis. It’s the only responsible way forward, ”he added.
The FDA was not immediately available to comment. Its COVID-19 FAQs warn that traditional smokers may be more susceptible to respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, as smoking causes lung disease and can also induce lung disease. inflammation and cellular damage throughout the body. But it has little to say about e-cigarettes. Currently, the FDA warns that tobacco and nicotine can expose the lungs to harmful chemicals. “Will these exposures increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure or the severity of the COVID-19 results,” says the FDA website. Indeed, COVID-19 is an unprecedented virus that medical professionals are still investigating.
E-cigarettes was a $ 25 billion market last year, dominated by Juul, owned 35% by Altria Group MO,
Juul did not immediately respond to a request for MarketWatch to comment on new research or Krishnamoorthi’s call for a suspension of vaping products.
But the industry was sacked last year after a mysterious illness called Lung Injury associated with the use of an e-cigarette or a Vaping product (EVALI) made Americans sick, with CDC reported 2,807 hospitalizations for vaping-related illness as of the end of February this year.
The increase in vaping adolescents and youth also became a cause of pre-pandemic concern, as 5 million high school and junior high school students reported e-cigarette use in the Youth Tobacco Survey. FDA’s 2019 country, consisting of a quarter of high school students.
In January, the Trump administration banned fruit, candy, mint, and e-cigars flavors popular with teenagers to discourage them from vaping. But menthol and tobacco flavor are still allowed in the market. “We must protect our families,” Trump said at the time. “At the same time, it’s a big industry. We want to protect the industry ”.
Update MarketWatch’s ongoing coronavirus coverage here.