Vaping increases risk of coronavirus – here’s the science

By now, we are all familiar with guidance on how to reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus: wash your hands, wear a mask, social distance. But here’s another important piece of advice: don’t vape.

Smoking has been shown to be a risk factor for more severe forms of COVID-19, and now vaping is under fire for similar reasons. A recent study, published by researchers from Stanford and the University of California, San Francisco showed that vaping significantly increases the likelihood of a COVID-19 diagnosis among young people aged 13 to 24 in the US.

The researchers conducted a survey in which they asked participants whether they ever vaped, smoked or both (defined as “dual use”), and whether they were current users. Participants were then asked if they had experienced symptoms, been tested for COVID-19 or had a positive diagnosis.

The results suggested a strong association between vaping or dual use, and being diagnosed with COVID-19. In fact, having ever vaped or having been a dual user makes you at least five times more likely to have had a diagnosis of COVID-19. That risk rises by seven-fold for current dual users. What was most striking about this study was that the authors didn’t find a similar increased risk of the disease among smokers. The increased likelihood of a diagnosis appears to be driven primarily by vaping.

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