ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Research shows there is a connection between vaping and contracting COVID-19. A new study released this week finds teens and young adults who use e-cigarettes are five to nine times more likely to test positive for the virus.
The research is published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The data comes from more than 4,000 teens and young adults who answered an online survey, linking the habit to contracting COVID-19.
“Were able to show that children who had recently vaped, even within 30-days, or were actively vaping, were significantly higher than teens who didn’t do those things,” explained Dr. Anthony Sochet with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
The researchers from Stanford University found people between the ages of 13 and 24 who use e-cigarettes are five times more likely to be diagnosed with coronavirus compared to their non-vaping peers. That number jumps to between seven and nine percent in teens and young adults who both vape and smoke traditional cigarettes.
“It’s not at all surprising that children who have COVID-19 and vape get sicker,” Sochet said. “That’s actually something that we're studying here at All Children’s.”
Medical experts say several factors may play a role in the increased susceptibility of young vapers testing positive for the virus. Additionally, this isn’t the first study to link smoking with a higher risk of infection. There’s evidence that e-cigarettes make the lungs more vulnerable to a variety of different infections.
“It actually causes inflammation in not just in the lung but we actually suspect it causes inflammation throughout the entire body,” said Sochet.
What makes the new correlation even more concerning is data from a 2019 national survey that found more than a quarter of high school students use e-cigarettes.
Sochet said it is a reminder that there are other health issues still going on that need our focus.
“Prior to COVID-19 vaping was our pandemic that we needed to tackle as a society,” he said.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to email@example.com. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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