Previous studies on links between smoking, vaping and the coronavirus disease found that COVID-19 patients who smoked, in comparison to nonsmokers, are twice as likely to require mechanical ventilation and treatment in intensive care. Some studies also found that e-cigarettes weaken the ability of the lungs to fight viral infections.
A new study conducted by researchers from US-based Stanford University and the University of California found “surprising” connections between vaping, smoking and the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in young adults.
The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health by the Stanford University School of Medicine, found that young adults who regularly use e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes are five times more likely to be vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.
Based on surveys of 4,351 participants aging between 13 and 24 from across the United States, the research discovered that young adults who smoke or use e-cigarettes were five to seven times more likely to be infected with a respiratory virus than non-smokers.
The research team said that the link between vaping and COVID-19 infection could be due to the fact that vaping is known to harm the lungs and that the aerosol produced by e-cigarettes can contain droplets of the virus.
Following the publication of the study on Tuesday, Raja Krishnamoorthi, the chair of the US House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy said in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn, that a temporary removal of e-cigarettes from the market should be decreed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In April, the lawmaker called on the FDA to temporarily remove e-cigarettes from the market, citing the results of earlier studies that found a connection between smoking, vaping and worsening COVID-19 infection, but his request was rejected by the federal agency, reportedly due to a lack of sufficient evidence of a direct association between the recreational inhalants and the coronavirus.
Krishnamoorthi gave the FDA an 18 August deadline to respond to the subcommittee’s request, and reveal plans for clearing e-cigarettes from the market.
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