A new study has shown that teens and young adults who vape are far more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those who do not.
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device.
According to the study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the act is associated with “substantially increased risk” of COVID-19 in teens and young adults.
To arrive at their findings, the researchers from Stanford University examined 4,351 participants in the US in May, looking at their chances of contracting the virus.
The participants were asked if they had ever used vaping devices or combustible cigarettes. They were also asked if they had vaped or smoked in the past 30 days, and if they had experienced COVID-19 symptoms, or been diagnosed with the infectious disease.
The researchers found that those who used just e-cigarettes were five times more likely to get a positive COVID-19 test result. They also discovered those who have ever used both e-cigarettes and cigarettes were seven times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease.
The researchers said the study suggests the need for increased education and screening among those who vape.
“COVID-19 is associated with youth use of e-cigarettes only and dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes, suggesting the need for screening and education,” the study concluded.
Though the researchers could not prove vaping causes COVID-19, they observed it could facilitate the spread of the novel disease, considering the fact that it involves repeated touching of hands to the mouth and face.
“Young people may believe their age protects them from contracting the virus or that they will not experience symptoms of COVID-19, but the data show this isn’t true among those who vape,” Shivani Mathur Gaiha, the study leader, said.
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