Can vaping worsen coronavirus infections? 3 doctors weigh

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As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll around the world, scientists are studying all the factors that could exacerbate the spread of the virus and the the disease it causes. We know that the immunocompromised and older adults are more at risk, but researchers are starting to focus on another potential risk factor: vaping.

We don’t know much about a possible link between the new coronavirus and vaping – there hasn’t been enough time to design reliable studies and collect data. But medical expertise and common sense can tell us a little more about the association, so I spoke to three doctors to find out the truth: the vaccine provider for disease control and prevention centers, Dr. Michael Hall, the smoking cessation specialist, Dr. Elisa Tong and Yale Lung specialist Dr. Stephen Baldassarri. Read on for everything you need to know about a potential link between the new coronavirus and vaping.

What do we know about a link between vaping and coronavirus?

Let me be clear – we currently have no research proving that there is a link between vaping and the new coronavirus. “We are awaiting studies in COVID-19 patients to definitively determine whether smoking, vaping and / or the use of other substances are risk factors for complications from COVID-19 infection,” said Dr. Baldassari.

Dr Tong echoes this warning, saying, “Whether we can look at the association of smoking or vaping with COVID depends on whether or not data is collected. We just won’t know until we have enough time for researchers to collect more data.

However, we know enough about the effects of vaping on the lungs and the immune system to make educated guesses.

Vaping and the lungs

Cigarettes are undoubtedly harmful to your lungs, but the effect of vaping on lung health is a little less clear. You may remember prepandemic headlines about the increase in vaping-related illnesses, which have resulted in more than 2,500 hospitalized people with severe lung disease and others health problems after vapingand at least 64 dead.

However, the researchers were unclear whether it was vaping itself or vitamin E acetate in black market marijuana vaping products that caused lung disease.

If vaping damages the lungs, it’s likely because of the contaminants that are breathed in with the vapor. Hall says that during vaping, “a variety of things can penetrate deeper into the lungs and cause irritation,” which “will then cause problems with the protective nature of the lungs.”

Dr. Tong has been more clear about the harmful effects of vaping on the lungs, saying, “There is evidence that vaping can also harm lung health, from the cellular level to the organ level, based on studies conducted on humans, animals and in vitro in the laboratory. “

If vaping damages the protective lining of your lungs, it would be even worse in light of the coronavirus pandemic. “A person with compromised lung lining would have a worse case of COVID-19,” says Dr. Hall, because “if you have impaired defense mechanisms in your lung tissue, the infection could spread more quickly and the body cannot continue. “

Vaping and the immune system

It has also been suggested that electronic cigarettes can weaken the immune system. An experimental study has shown that vapor from electronic cigarettes increases the production of inflammatory chemicals and weakens the protective cells in the lungs that keep air spaces free from potentially harmful particles. The researchers warned that more research was needed to make declarations, which is common with studies on vaping – we just didn’t have the time to do adequate research.

Another study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that mice exposed to electronic cigarette vapor over time had weakened immune systems.

If the use of electronic cigarettes weakens the immune system, this would certainly be a factor in the coronavirus pandemic. We already know that immunocompromised are more at risk of developing serious or even fatal disease if they are infected with COVID-19.

At the end of the line? While there is certainly a lot we do not know about vaping and its connection to COVID-19, all of the available evidence suggests that it would be a better idea to avoid e-cigarettes for the moment. Baldassarri echoes this approach, stating, “A great way to protect our health is to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors every day as best we can.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for medical or health advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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