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Study links teen vaping, smoking and coronavirus

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Could smoking and vaping be aiding the spread of COVID-19?

Recent research aims to uncover whether there’s a relationship between cigarettes, e-cigarettes and the coronavirus, particularly in teenagers and young adults.

Fariba Rezaee, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’s, did not take part in the study but said that when people vape, the act itself can spread the virus.

“These patients put their hands to their mouth and they might not wear the mask at the same time or they can’t,” said Rezaee. “The other problem is that, especially with the teenagers, they share this product with each other, so that’s another risk factor.”

Researchers surveyed 4,351 teens and young adults. They looked for an association between COVID-19 and the use of traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

Results show the coronavirus was seven times more likely among young people who smoked both types of cigarettes. Additionally, COVID-19 was five times more likely in young people who only used e-cigarettes.

Rezaee warns any type of cigarette use can damage the lungs to the point where people may face a difficult illness and recovery.

“You have to be aware that with using the cigarette or e-cigarette, you even put yourself more at risk of more severe disease,” said Rezaee.

Complete results can be found in the Journal of Adolescent Health.