- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2020

An anti-tobacco advocacy group on Monday urged vapers to stop using e-cigarettes, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) attacks the lungs, and behaviors that weaken the lungs put individuals at greater risk. The harmful impact of smoking on the lungs is well documented, and there is a growing body of evidence that e-cigarette use (vaping) can also harm lung health,” the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement.

Evidence shows that smoking can increase the risk for respiratory infections and could lead to chronic health conditions such as chronic pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes. There is also growing evidence that vaping can harm lung health, said the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which could put vapers at greater risk if infected with coronavirus.

COVID-19 could be an “especially serious threat” to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of National Institute on Drug Abuse, wrote in a blog post earlier this month.

“It is therefore reasonable to be concerned that compromised lung function or lung disease related to smoking history, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), could put people at risk for serious complications of COVID-19,” she said.

Last year, an outbreak of lung illnesses linked to vaping broke out in the U.S. To date, more than 2,700 people have been hospitalized and more than 60 who died from vaping-related lung injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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