Study: Youth who vape are at much higher risk of COVID-19

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)– Teenagers and young adults who vape face a much higher risk of COVID-19 than those who don’t, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

It’s not uncommon for Wake County teens to vape or have friends who vape.

“I have a couple friends that do use it and especially classmates and those around me, you know they constantly vape,” said Vaishnavi Kode, a Wake County student and youth member of the organization NC Child.

According to a new study from Stanford University, teens and young adults who vape are five to seven times more likely to get COVID-19.

“The fact that a lot of teenagers have that belief that you know we’re not going to be affected by COVID because we’re really young, I think that study really changed things around and showed us no, we can all face COVID,” said Kode.

Doctors say the reason those who vape could be more prone to COVID-19 is because they touch their face more often, some share their devices with others, and e-cigarette use can cause lung damage.

“The body’s ability to clear pathogens in the way to protect itself are impaired in those who smoke and who vape,” said Dr. Matthew Bruehl, director of WakeMed Children’s Pediatric Pulmonology.

Matthew Myers with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said it’s time for change.

He’s pushing for flavored tobacco products to be banned and for vaping products to be removed from stores near schools.

“The study is a cause for real concern,” said Myers. “Youth use of e-cigarettes, particularly flavored e-cigarettes, is at a crisis level.”

Advocates and doctors say vaping is dangerous as is, but especially during a global pandemic.

“You want to give yourself and your body the best chance possible, so I strongly recommend that those engaging in the use of e-cigarette and other tobacco products consider this a wonderful time to explore the benefits of quitting,” said Dr. Bruehl.

For more information on the study, click here.

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