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As the country continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, scientists and researchers continue working for a cure as well as understand more definitively how the virus works. We do know the COVID-19 virus tends to attack the lungs and respiratory system. Patients with weakened immune or respiratory systems may have difficulty fighting off the virus, which begs the question – are vapers and smokers more susceptible to coronavirus or coronavirus complications?

“Vaping may be particularly harmful,” said Dr. Dean Drosnes, the medical director of the Pennsylvania campus of Caron Treatment Centers. “We are not sure, because the research is still new, but the aerosols that come out of vaping seem to harm pulmonary cells. So the potential is there that vaping makes someone more susceptible to contracting COVID because the cells can’t eliminate it, and may make the consequences worse because the lungs can’t clear the secretions.”

The connection between vaping and COVID-19

Much evidence exists that smoking and vaping can suppress immune system functioning in the lungs and trigger inflammation. And, because long-term vapers – like Juul users and other similar products – have a higher risk of developing lung conditions, it stands to reason they can also suffer more serious effects from the coronavirus.

In fact, Attorney General of Massachusetts Maura Healy put out a public statement regarding vaping and COVID-19 to spread the word of the associated risks. These include:

  • Smoking and vaping damage the lungs, allowing viruses to more easily attach to lung cells and enter the lungs.
  • Smoking or vaping may increase the chances that a person will be infected by COVID-19 and need hospitalization and advanced life support to survive.
  • If a person who smokes catches COVID-19, they are more likely to develop a severe case of the virus than those with no smoking history. Flavored tobacco products could make lung infections like COVID-19 worse.
  • The virus is easily spread from hand-to-mouth contact, common when using smoking and vaping products. Social sharing of smoking and vaping products can also facilitate the spread of the virus.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse also weighed in, stating that vaping also harms lung health, reporting, “Vaping, like smoking, may also harm lung health. Whether it can lead to COPD is still unknown, but emerging evidence suggests that exposure to aerosols from e-cigarettes harms the cells of the lung and diminishes the ability to respond to infection.” The agency also noted that individuals with opioid or methamphetamine dependency may also be more susceptible to coronavirus complications.

The attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC dedicate themselves to protecting the safety and rights of citizens across South Carolina. If you or a loved one were injured through no fault of your own, we’re here to listen to your story and provide sound legal guidance. Call us at 803-327-7800 or reach out to us through our contact page. We maintain offices throughout the state.