Young people who use e-cigarettes have a five times higher risk of contracting coronavirus than those who don’t, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
For the study, Stanford University researchers examined the effects of vaping on 4,351 young people from every state between ages 13 and 24.
The research revealed that people in that age group who vaped and smoked tobacco cigarettes also had seven times higher risk of being infected by the potentially deadly virus.
“We were surprised,” Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, the study’s senior author, told NBC News.
“We expected to maybe see some relationship …. but certainly not at the odds ratios and the significance that we’re seeing it here.”
The researchers suspect that since vaping products can harm lung function and lower the immune system, they make the body more susceptible to coronavirus. They also said that vapor from e-cigarettes could carry coronavirus droplets which may infect others smoking in the group, much like second-hand smoke.
“I think our findings have a very strong message to health care providers, parents, and teens,” said Halpern-Felsher. “If you are vaping and smoking, this is yet another sign that these products are hurting your body and your lungs.”
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