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Research Is Thin On Vaping, Coronavirus

A stock image of a man using an e-cigarette.

(Pixabay)

A questioner asked City Limits: Coronavirus, “Is any research being done on vape and corona vulnerability, including the way kids share the vape devices?”

There likely is some, but it’s difficult to gauge how definitive any of it has been.

We reached out to K. Michael Cummings, a professor in the Medical University of South Carolina with a long history of research on tobacco and nicotine issues. He says he is not familiar with any research done on contracting COVID-19 because of vaping. He adds in an email: “Kids do share their vaping devices, so I’m guessing in theory it would be a risk.”

Cummings suggested we contact David Hammonds, who he called “one of the leading experts in the world tracking trends in youth vaping.” He is with the University of Waterloo in Canada.

In an email, Hammond writes: “The short answer to your question is that I’m not aware of any answers to the question, but I suspect that a few people will study the issue in the months to come.”

He says some major “legal” companies in the fields of nicotine and THC/cannabis have sent notices to consumers about ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19, including not sharing vapes or other things like pipes and joints.

He wrote: “Of course, if young people have been physically distancing, as they should, the likelihood of any sharing would be much lower than might be expected. There will be considerable interest in how the whole situation has impacted patterns and frequency of substance use, both legal and non.”

In addition, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse posted a blog article related to the topic. Dr. Nora Volkow states: “Vaping, like smoking, may also harm lung health. … (Emerging) evidence suggests that exposure to aerosols from e-cigarettes harms the cells of the lung and diminishes the ability to respond to infection.”

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here

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