Lawmakers are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to get rid of e-cigarettes for the remainder of the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reports.
In a letter sent to FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn on Tuesday, lawmakers cite new research that links the use of e-cigarettes or vaping to an increased risk of being diagnosed with COVID-19 and suffering symptoms.
“This is true in vapers as young as 13, which is particularly concerning, given that young people are increasingly driving the spread of COVID-19, threatening the health and safety of Americans of all ages,” chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi wrote.
The subcommittee asks Hahn to circle back on Aug. 18 on whether the FDA will temporarily get rid of e-cigarettes.
In the letter, Krishnamoorthi’s cites a study that found a coronavirus diagnosis was five times more likely in young people who have used e-cigarettes ever.
The study, based on an online survey, also found that young people who have a history of using both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes were seven times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 compared with those who have never used either product.
“We thought that we’d see some relationship. We did not expect to see a five to seven times more likely relationship. That’s huge,” said leader of the study Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics and director of research in the division of adolescent medicine at Stanford University.
The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health on Tuesday. It included data on 4,351 young people ages 13 to 24, who participated an online survey in May.
The study also found that people who said they vaped in the past 30 days were 2.6 times more likely to be tested for coronavirus.
Researchers involved in the study said they think people could be sharing their vaping products, touching their face more or breathing in droplets containing the virus through the aerosols of an e-cigarette.
Halpern-Felsher said study results suggest there is a negative link between e-cigarettes and coronavirus and that teens should stop using e-cigarettes or any inhaled product that can hurt their lungs.
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