By Andrew Canese
Over the past few years, vaping has become a popular pastime for teenagers and young adults due to a multitude of reasons. From its discrete nature to addictive substances, vaping is common because it is seen as a healthier alternative to smoking. Now with COVID-19, people have begun to make connections between the virus and vaping.
Experts have been warning smokers and vapers since the very start of the pandemic that there is a possibility of increased dangers towards them, as COVID-19 largely affects the lungs. Only back in September were doctors able to figure out the ways vaping and smoking increase the virus’ abilities to spread from person to person. While several studies have shown that smoking can double someone’s chances of catching the virus, a team of researchers has discovered that young adults who vape are five times more likely to contract the virus. Unfortunately, what makes up the relationship between vaping and COVID-19 remains largely unclear, and because of this, getting people to be aware of the risks is extremely difficult.
It may be difficult for regular users to see why using e-cigarettes dramatically increases the chances of them catching the virus. However, doctors have stated numerous times that COVID-19 most likely affects the scarred lungs of vapers and smokers on levels far higher than those who do not do either.
Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie, @jammin_with_jelly
Research has shown that those who vape experience exacerbated symptoms of COVID-19.
Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, a pediatric pulmonologist at Columbia University, was quoted in the New York Times saying, “I have no doubt in saying that smoking and vaping could put people at increased risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19…It is quite clear that smoking and vaping are bad for the lungs, and the predominant symptoms of COVID are respiratory. Those two things are going to be a bad combination.”
While vaping had its risks prior to COVID-19, now the risks have increased exponentially. Those whose stubbornness keeps them from putting their hobby on hold may also be responsible for peer-pressuring others into joining them, which will only increase the number of people who end up getting diagnosed with COVID-19.
“I’m not sure if vaping leads to a higher infection rate and if people want to vape that’s their personal choice, but they shouldn’t be pressuring others into joining them,” said sophomore Caley Caleca.