E-cigarette Users are More Likely to Experience COVID-19 Symptoms


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“The study was designed to compare the frequency of common COVID-19 symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell, headache, muscle aches and chest tightness in COVID patients who vaped, compared with those who were not vapers,” says David McFadden, M.D., a Mayo Clinic internist and the study’s first author.

Researchers interviewed more than 280 COVID-positive vapers and compared them with 1,445 COVID-positive people of the same age and gender, and who don’t vape. All of these common COVID symptoms were reported more frequently among people who vape.


Study participants were at least 18 and tested positive for COVID-19 at testing sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin between March 1, 2020, and Feb. 28.

Data were then gathered on age; gender; ethnicity; race; COVID-19 symptoms; emergency department visits and hospitalizations; and lifestyle history, such as vaping and smoking.

Use of e-cigarettes has grown significantly over the past decade, especially among high school students and young adults, though the short- and long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are unknown.

“There are a lot of studies that have shown that e-cigarette use may be associated with inflammation in the lungs and also may cause severe lung injury in certain users, causing a condition called e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury,” says Robert Vassallo, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and critical care specialist, and co-author of the study.

The uncertainties of the health effects of e-cigarette use are due in part to the variety of devices, ingredients in the vaping liquid, and use.

Nonetheless, the study documented a significant difference in symptom frequency between those who vape and were COVID-19 positive and those who did not vape.

The study found that the increased inflammation of lung tissue promoted by COVID-19 infection and the inflammation induced by vaping may worsen the likelihood of systemic inflammation, with an associated increase in symptoms such as fever, myalgias, fatigue, and headache.

During a pandemic with a highly transmissible respiratory pathogen like SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), it is highly advisable to reduce or stop vaping and e-cigarette use, and minimize the potential for increased symptoms and lung injury.

Source: Medindia



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