1 in 3 Teens Susceptible to Severe COVID-19 Symptoms -Could Vapes Be to Blame?
Teens who smoke or vape are more susceptible to more severe COVID-19 symptoms. Here’s why. As days go by, it seems like we are constantly bombarded by new information about the novel coronavirus. New studies and research are constantly coming out as we try to get some kind of mental and physical grasp on this pandemic that we are experiencing.
One fact that has been stated since day one is that the population most at risk is the elderly, and people with any pre-existing conditions such as COPD, diabetes, and heart problems. This would point to the idea that the population least at risk for having complications from COVID-19 would be young people such as kids and teens. This is because they tend to not have as many preexisting conditions as older people, and their immune system tends to work a little more efficiently.
However, new studies are coming out showing that one out of three young adults are susceptible to having severe symptoms or complications from Coronavirus, and unfortunately the reason for that is largely due to smoking.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco looked at more than 8,000 participants to see what their susceptibility was to COVID-19, and found that about 32% of them were at risk for severe COVID-19. When we look at how the virus acts inside people, there are really two different outcomes that people will see. A certain percentage of the population will see little to no symptoms, and this group can also have the ability to spread the disease more slowly. The other subset of the population who get the virus however, will have extreme symptoms which can land them in the hospital, or unfortunately sometimes have a fatal outcome. With 32% of our young people having severe symptoms, this can be devastating for our society as a whole. Interestingly, when researchers removed from the sample students who used either cigarettes or e-cigarettes, the percentage of at-high-risk students went from 32% to only 16%.
Interestingly, when researchers removed from the sample students who used either cigarettes or e-cigarettes, the percentage of at-high-risk students went from 32% to only 16%.
Although these students who either smoked or vaped did not report having complications that would make them at-risk such as COPD, other breathing problems, or diabetes, they still proved to be at a much higher risk.
Addressing misconceptions that vaping is “safer” than smoking
While it may seem an obvious correlation that smoking would increase the risk of developing a virus that is primarily respiratory, unfortunately many people young and old have been fed the idea that using an e-cigarette would be better for their lungs than traditional combustible cigarettes, however it seems that especially in the case of developing COVID-19, that’s just not the case.
This is sad news for our young population who have been told that the Coronavirus has a tendency to be less severe in their population, and it is of course sad new for their parents and families.
What this means going forward
At Prevention Plus we understand the devastation that news like this can bring, and we also value the hardworking men and women who put their lives on the line to bring us that news and studies so we can work towards a brighter future as soon as possible. With talks about schools possibly reopening in the fall, these studies make us question the impact that being in class will bring, especially since most students who vape, do so at school.
Of course, it is more effective and better for students to have in-class learning, but in these uncertain times, we really need to put our health, and the health of upcoming generations as the number one priority. That is why we are constantly working on creating online curriculum for webinar presentations to make learning at home easier. This situation is very difficult on all of us, but we at Prevention Plus are here for you, for our youth, and for the hardworking teachers and school staff, who, like us, want a safe, sustainable, and beneficial education for kids and teens.
We need to partner together to all work through this situation together.
We have many resources on our website that go further in depth about how to handle this difficult situation.
If you want even more information, we run a vaping webinar, along with many other webinars such as nutrition, phone addiction, gangs, and more.
Our vaping webinar goes into what is really inside of a vape, what makes them so dangerous, and how the tobacco industry targets teens to get them addicted.
The nice thing about webinars is that they tend to be more personal than reading an article or watching a video, and you can have an opportunity to ask some questions firsthand with our staff of trained professionals.
Stay safe out there.
Prevention Plus online, pre-recorded trainings:
How to help teens stop vaping:
Teen Smoke Free.Gov