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Does Vaping Worsen COVID-19 Symptoms?

Posted on 04/13/2020Back

The risks of vaping are well known. Aside from addiction and stunted brain development, vaping can cause lung inflammation and weakened immune function.

These dangerous side effects are now putting individuals who vape among those most at risk of suffering severe complications from the COVID-19 virus. Medical professionals have increasingly warned that individuals who vape are likely to have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and may even experience more serious COVID-19 infections compared to those who do not vape.

Vaping and COVID-19

With increased inflammation in the lungs, immune cells are damaged. As a result of the damage to the immune system, those who vape are often considered ‘immunosuppressed.’ This condition leaves those individuals more prone to severe viruses and infections.

Although widespread studies on the relationship between vaping and COVID-19 are currently limited, medical professionals have already spoken out about the heightened risk of COVID-19 amongsymptoms-of-coronavirus those who vape and/or smoke.

Dr. Albert Rizzo, Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association, wrote on his organization’s website that “it would be reasonable to think that any condition that potentially affects the lungs, be it chronic or acute affects from such behavior as smoking or vaping, regardless of the ingredients inhaled, could play a role in making someone more susceptible to complications from the disease.”

In discussing the growing pandemic with Scientific American, Dr. Melodi Pirzada, Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Long Island said that, “All these things make me believe that we are going to have more cases- especially [in] people who are [long-term] smokers or vapers.”

Dr. Michael Schivo, a pulmonologist at UC Davis Health, said that the damage caused to the lungs by vaping “predisposes [individuals] to worse infections and worse clinical disease when they’re exposed to the respiratory virus.”

Additionally, scientists at Chapel Hill have shown that vaping suppresses the activity of immune and inflammatory response genes in nasal cells–even more than smoking. A recent preprint study found that the gene responsible for encoding the receptor ACE2 (which COVID-19 uses to infect cells) is more prevalent in individuals who participate in smoking-related activities than non-smokers and could make the COVID-19 related infections worse.

How Does Vaping Impact The Lungs And Immune System? 

Chemicals found in vaping liquids can compromise the functionality of the immune system and weaken the lungs due to the lungs’ lack of protection against these substances. Although there are defense mechanisms within the airways to clear out toxins, vaping impairs these defense mechanisms and, as a result, puts the health of the immune system and lungs at risk.

Regular cigarette smoking and vaping inhibit the ciliary clearance within the lungs’ airways. The fine, hair-like structures known as cilia clear the airways to keep bacteria, viruses, toxins, and excessive mucus from settling within the lungs. However, inhaling substances such as tobacco smoke or aerosols through vaping affects the muco-ciliary ladder’s ability to function. Consequently, the immune system is disrupted and chronic levels of inflammation in the lungs can occur.

As a result, it becomes extremely difficult for the lungs to defend against viruses and protect against severe complications.

How GoldenbergLaw Can Help You

Please reach out to the Minnesota e-cigarette lawyers at GoldenbergLaw if you or a loved one have suffered addiction or lung damage after using e-cigarettes. We will be your tireless advocate throughout the legal process and fight to get you fair compensation. Let us deliver the gold standard advocacy you deserve.

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