Since the pandemic started to hit the US in full force in March, speculation about the link between vaping and Covid-19 has flourished. The Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse both issued warnings. Anecdotal reports of young vapers coming down with severe coronavirus infections began to crop up. But there was very little research to support a connection.
Now, a study published today in The Journal of Adolescent Health finally offers data that shows a relationship between e-cigarette use and Covid-19 risk. Researchers from Stanford University show that teenagers and young adults ages 13 to 24 who use e-cigarettes are five times more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19 than their non-vaping peers. Those who are dual users—people who smoke both traditional and electronic cigarettes—are seven times more likely to test positive for the virus, the researchers found.
“I knew there would be a relationship,” says coauthor Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University who studies youth tobacco use. “I did not expect it to be this strong of a relationship.”