We now have another reason to stop vaping.

According to a new study just published by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, vaping is linked to a greater risk of COVID-19 among teenagers and young adults in the United States.

The study is the first to look at how youth vaping is related to COVID-19.

Surveys were completed by more than 4,300 participants ages 13 to 24 this past spring. The participants were divided evenly between those who used e-cigarettes and those who had never used nicotine products.

Compared to those who never smoked or vaped, young people who had used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days were almost five times as likely to experience COVID-19 symptoms, such as coughing, fatigue, fever, difficulty breathing as those who never smoked or vaped. This could be why they were also more likely to receive COVID-19 testing, said the study’s senior author, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, professor of pediatrics.

“Teens and young adults need to know that if you use e-cigarettes, you are likely at immediate risk of COVID-19 because you are damaging your lungs,” said Halpern-Felsher.

Despite being different from traditional cigarettes, vaping is too similar when it comes to serious health risks. Vaping just isn't the safe alternative to smoking that we thought it was. Some types of e-cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals, such as nicotine (which can lead to addiction) or formaldehyde (which might cause cancer).

“Now is the time,” Halpern-Felsher said. “We need the FDA to hurry up and regulate these products. And we need to tell everyone: If you are a vaper, you are putting yourself at risk for COVID-19 and other lung disease.”

Bottom line, we need to avoid smoking, vaping, pollution, and any fumes that may be toxic. Now more than ever, we need to take care of our respiratory health. The only thing that should be going into your lungs is clean air.

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