We're in the middle of a global pandemic.
For people who smoke or vape, or care about someone who does, there's pretty clear reason to worry, because the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 attacks the lungs.
There's new research about the virus and how vaping or smoking could impact infection coming out weekly, and we’ll update this article as we know more. But here's what we know right now.
One: We know smoking and vaping damage lungs and weaken the body's immune system.
According to Dr. Nora Volkow, a Director at the National Institutes of Health, "the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape."
Two: Young people who had vaped were 5x more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
Three: Studies suggest people who vape are more likely to get respiratory infections.
Because of this, people who smoke or vape may be in higher risk category when it comes to viruses like COVID-19, which, like we said before, attacks the lungs.
Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the Center of Tobacco Research Control & Education, said that "when someone's lungs are exposed to flue or other infections, the adverse effects of smoking or vaping are much more serious than among people who do not smoke or vape."
Four: Vaping may increase the spread of COVID-19.
Hand-to-mouth contact (picture someone smoking or vaping. That's hand-to-mouth contact.) is how the coronavirus is easily spread. And we probably don't need to tell you sharing puff bars, JUULs or other vapes can also facilitate the spread of the virus, but we're going to tell you anyway. Because if you're doing that, stop now. Please.
Even though we're being proactive – washing our hands, wearing masks, staying indoors – we can't control our loved ones around us, and we understand that vaping (and smoking) are addictive, and hard to quit even when we know that they're not doing us any favors, health-wise.
So, if you need help quitting, or know someone who does, This is Quitting can help. More than 150,000 other people have used This is Quitting – it's free, confidential, and all you need to do is text DITCHVAPE to 88709.
As we read through new research as it comes in, we'll share more here. But if you're ravenous for informations (relatable!), check out The CDC, the WHO and NIDA. And, more than ever, check your sources. There's a lot of misinformation being spread – some of it funded by Big Tobacco.
We're all in this together (alone, but together). Stay safe, friends.