Association Between Youth Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Coronavirus Disease 2019


As of June 2020, more than 2.1 million people have been infected, and approximately 116,000 have died from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S., and the numbers continue to rise.

Both cigarette and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use damage the respiratory system, potentially increasing the risk of experiencing COVID-19–related symptoms, a positive diagnosis and exacerbated health outcomes. A meta-analysis of studies mostly in China found that smokers were at elevated risk of COVID-19 progression compared with non-smokers. Hospitalizations in the U.S. show that factors such as obesity, male sex, and older age are associated with COVID-19. Although youth are at relatively lower risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with older adults, given the proportion of youth using e-cigarettes, youth e-cigarette and cigarette use may pose an important risk factor for COVID-19.

Currently, there are no U.S. population-based studies assessing the relationship between cigarette smoking, e-cigarette use, and COVID-19–related outcomes. In the absence of information on smoking and e-cigarette use history of youth diagnosed with COVID-19, we conducted a population-level examination of whether youth cigarette and/or e-cigarette use is associated with increased likelihood of experiencing COVID-19–related symptoms, being tested, and being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Read full article here.

Shivani Mathur Gaiha, Ph.D. et al. – Journal of Adolescent Health – August 11, 2020.

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