In August, a Standard University School of Medicine study found that people who vaped were up to seven times more likely to be infected by COVID-19 than those who did not vape. However, public attention over e-cigarettes and vaping appear to have fallen, with very few news stories covering the topic after February when pandemic-related concerns took over the news cycle.
It was in February of this year that the Trump administration formally signed a ban on flavored e-cigarettes (excluding menthol and tobacco) following a series of reports that some vaping products may have been associated with the lung injury, EVALI, a condition that can cause inflammation, a form of pneumonia, and damage the tiny air sacs in the lungs. Additionally, vape products among those under the age of 18 highlighted concerns about a lack of oversight in the vaping industry compared to conventional tobacco products.
A poll taken by Pew found that 64% of those aged 30 to 64 were in favor of tighter e-cigarette regulations. This compares to 48% of Americans aged 18 to 29, who said that laws should be more strict.
This is very much an example of young people being more daring or playing chicken with their health. We have already seen in the news that younger Americans are also less likely to heed the warning about COVID-19. Pictures and video of students and young adults partying have been finding their way online even when quarantine guidelines were in place.
These social behaviors have worried health experts, including Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who warned young people against taking coronavirus lightly and potentially making the pandemic worse or failing to see that it isn’t just older people suffering adverse health consequences.
No new polling for research institutes, such as PEW, about vaping haven’t been released recently – the focus for most Americans now appears to be about the economy, mask mandates, and the upcoming Presidential election. Information about the effect of the regulations and whether it has curbed use among younger Americans also appears scarce, based upon searches in Google Scholar.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, new research will give us a better understanding of why some people experience more severe symptoms, how it transmits, and what factors may be putting people at risk.
For now, if you are using vaping products, it may be a good idea to abstain and focus on treating your body well.
According to the University of California, Davis, there are five things you can do to prioritize your immune system. These include:
- Getting enough vitamin A from carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, and red bell peppers.
- Increasing your vitamin C intake from citrus fruits and red fruits like strawberry to stimulate your antibody response.
- Consuming vitamin E from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
- Adding more zinc to your diet from beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Eating protein-rich foods, such as meats, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds!
Along with healthy dietary habits, you can also look to supplements for additional support. Allergy Research Group, Premier Research Labs, and Results RNA formulate lung support products for a healthy mucosal lining in the sinuses, normal fluid production in the lungs, and comfort in the respiratory system, especially when outside during pollen season or when stuck indoors with dry air.
While diet and supplements may support the body, other ways to maintain your health included continued observation of social distancing guidelines, wearing a mask, and keeping informed on the latest research to know what may help or hurt your overall health COVID-19 pandemic.