The researchers studied the statistical correlation between the percentage of vapers in US states and the number of coronavirus infections and deaths.
They found that US states that had a higher proportion of vapers also had a larger number of daily COVID-19 infected cases and deaths.
They concluded that with every one percent increase in proportion of vapers in each state, the number of COVID-19 infected cases increases by 0.3139 and the number of deaths increase by 0.3705 in each US state.
“The positive associations between the proportion of vapers and the number of COVID-19 infected cases and deaths in each US state suggest an increased susceptibility of vapers to COVID-19 infections and deaths,” the researchers said in their paper.
Their research was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have warned that smokers face a greater risk of experiencing complications due to the coronavirus.
There has been much debate on how smoking, whether regular cigarettes or vaping, affects an individual’s chances of getting infected with coronavirus and possibly dying from the disease. A French study was even looking at whether nicotine could prevent COVID-19 infection.
The Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California San Francisco advised: “Reduce your risk of serious lung disease caused by coronavirus by quitting smoking and vaping.”
The center explained that e-cigarettes impair the immune system and specifically, weakening the lung’s ability to fight off infections. It also cited several research papers of studies conducted on both humans and animals which suggest that smoking delays recovery from respiratory infections.
“As of April 16, 2020, there were 12 papers that had data on smoking and COVID-19 disease progression, 10 from China, 1 from Korea, and 1 from the US. Our meta-analysis of these 12 papers found that smoking was associated with more than a doubling of odds of disease progression in people who had already developed COVID-19,” the center said.
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