“Being a 21-year-old, I should not be spending six days in the hospital for lung complications,” said one young vaper who survived coronavirus.
Before coronavirus, pulmonologists, pediatricians and parents were busy battling a different nationwide health crisis: the “epidemic” of teen vaping. Last year, over five million high school and middle school students reported using e-cigarettes, inhaling mysterious nicotine-filled juices with little sense of the long-term effects.
So when an unfamiliar virus began sending scores of patients to the hospital with failing lungs, doctors wondered whether there would be consequences for the newly addicted generation.
On Tuesday, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine published a study which may confirm the fears of parents and doctors across the nation. Vaping is not just a small risk for coronavirus. Among teens and young adults who were tested, those who had used e-cigs were five to seven times more likely to be infected than non-users.
“We were surprised,” said Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University and the study’s senior author. “We expected to maybe see some relationship …. but certainly not at the odds ratios and the significance that we’re seeing it here.”
Kit Ramgopal, Cynthia McFadden, Conor Ferguson – NBC – August 11, 2020.