CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A study released by Stanford researchers this week found teens and young adults who use electronic cigarettes or “vapes” are at much higher risk of contracting coronavirus.
In 2019 North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit against Juul, making North Carolina the first state to take legal action against the e-cigarette company.
Now Stanford's peer-reviewed study is throwing teen vaping back in the hot seat.
“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.”
In fact, she says the study found a significant correlation.
“If you have ever used an e-cigarette you are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID 19," Dr. Halpern-Felsher said.
For those who have vaped in the past 30 days, that number jumps to 7 times.
Researchers say the correlation isn’t only due to reduced lung function.
“We know that adolescents and young adults share their vaping products with each other, we also know the hand to mouth action could increase your risk just by touching and bringing COVID into your mouth," Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher said.
Now some US lawmakers are urging the FDA to ban vaping altogether until the pandemic is over.