Public Health and Safety

Smoking, Vaping and COVID Risk Factors

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

In July 2020, researchers from Stanford University (Gaiha, Cheng, et.al.) published the results of a study of over 4,300 people (youth to young adults) in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The study examined the association between the use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and frequency of use rates to the likelihood of the user being involved with COVID-19 from developing symptoms, receiving testing and being diagnosed with the disease. Researchers found that frequent use, along with using both cigarettes and e-cigarette devices (dual-use), increases the risk of COVID-19 complications by nearly 5 – 9 fold. While this study focused on the of administration of nicotine in tobacco and its effects, these delivery mechanisms have a great deal in common with delivery systems used for consuming THC found in marijuana. While the authors call for more research into these relationships, it prompts the question; Does the smoking and vaping marijuana based products pose the same significant risk factors to public health?

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