HealthDay News — Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes are associated with increased likelihood of COVID-19 diagnosis, according to a study published online Aug. 11 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Shivani Mathur Gaiha, Ph.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues surveyed 4,351 13- to 24-year-olds in May 2020 to assess the association between youth cigarette and e-cigarette use with COVID-19 symptoms, testing, and diagnosis.
The researchers found that diagnosis of COVID-19 was significantly more likely among ever-users of e-cigarettes only, ever-dual-users, and past 30-day dual users (odds ratios, 5.05, 6.97, and 6.84, respectively). COVID-19 testing was significantly increased among past 30-day dual-users and past 30-day e-cigarette users only (odds ratios, 9.16 and 2.55, respectively). The likelihood of having COVID-19-related symptoms was significantly increased with past 30-day dual use (odds ratio, 4.69).
“Young people may believe their age protects them from contracting the virus or that they will not experience symptoms of COVID-19, but the data show this isn’t true among those who vape,” Gaiha said in a statement. “This study tells us pretty clearly that youth who are using vapes or are dual-using [e-cigarettes and cigarettes] are at elevated risk, and it’s not just a small increase in risk; it’s a big one.”