Across the world, all eyes are on the news, watching and waiting for information regarding COVID-19. People want to know what’s happening around the world, whether the infection has spread to their communities and what they can do to keep themselves safe. One of the things that people most want to know is whether their lifestyle decisions can have any effect on the likelihood that they’ll contract or transmit the infection – and if you vape, you’ve probably seen virtually nothing but doom and gloom in the mainstream media.
The truth, though, is that anything you may have read about the ways in which the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 interacts with the bodies of those who vape is little more than speculation. It’s typically written by people who want to advance an anti-vaping agenda, and it often omits crucial information.
So, are you safe continuing to use vaping products from companies like V2 Cigs UK in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? The truth is that no one knows precisely how the coronavirus affects vapers. Anyone reporting negatively on this topic is citing research that’s irrelevant because the researchers conducting the cited studies did not conduct those studies on this virus.
There’s also something very important that they’re not telling you.
Does Vaping Increase Your Risk of Contracting COVID-19?
When you read dire predictions of what can happen to vapers exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus, you’re probably reading content that cites the Scientific American journal or a blog post by Professor Stanton Glantz as its source. Those reports cite a scientific review published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2019. The BMJ review, however, is merely a review of existing medical literature – it isn’t a new study. The BMJ review also omits all evidence – and plenty of evidence does exist – suggesting that switching from smoking to vaping actually improves the body’s immune response. In addition, the BMJ review contains no information that specifically applies to the coronavirus. The fact is that we simply don’t know whether vaping increases your risk of contracting COVID-19 or not. Anyone who says otherwise is speculating.
There is no evidence showing that vaping increases your likelihood of contracting COVID-19 or increases your chance of experiencing complications if you do contract it.
There is, however, something that we do know.
Smoking Almost Definitely Increases Your COVID-19 Risk
We know that smoking definitely impairs the immune system. If you’re a former smoker, you
already know this instinctively. During your years as a smoker, you were probably always the unfortunate one who caught the seasonal flu. Year after year, you missed a week of work during the winter months because you were sick.
In addition, smoking causes underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory issues and diabetes. Those health conditions – particularly in older individuals – appear to increase the likelihood of experiencing severe complications after contracting COVID-19.
- If you vape exclusively, you definitely should not go back to smoking. Doing so would be a potentially serious health risk.
- If you vape but also occasionally smoke, you should give up smoking and switch exclusively to vaping if you can.
Does Propylene Glycol Kill the Coronavirus That Causes COVID-19?
During the 1940s, two researchers from the bacteriology department at the University of Edinburgh made an important discovery: They found that propylene glycol vapor is an effective disinfectant. Propylene glycol continues to be used as a disinfectant today. It’s also a key ingredient of e-liquid, and that has made some people wonder if it’s possible that e-cigarette vapor could potentially kill the coronavirus before it has a chance to infect the body.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence that propylene glycol kills the coronavirus in a real-world vaping scenario. If you read the original 1940s research that people are quoting, you’ll find that the researchers conducted those tests in closed environments in which the temperature and humidity were tightly controlled. The researchers also used a ventilator to spray the propylene glycol mist evenly on every surface.
In the real world, though, that’s not how people vape. Your vaping device can’t spray an even coat of propylene glycol vapor inside your lungs, and you don’t vape under controlled humidity and temperature conditions. There’s no way to replicate the conditions of the 1940s study in a real-world vaping scenario.
There are no lab tests showing that propylene glycol vapor kills the coronavirus, and even if such a test existed, there would be no reason to believe that you could replicate that result by vaping. There is no evidence that vaping with a propylene glycol-based e-liquid will disinfect your lungs of the coronavirus.
Can You Vape Safely Around Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
We’re all being told that social distancing is the best way to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. That means you need to maintain a distance of several feet from other people when you’re doing the shopping or going about your business. That’s because the virus transmits most readily through the saliva of an infected individual who coughs or sneezes.
A large vapor cloud can hang in the air for a long time, and that has made some people nervous about being in close proximity to those who vape. People want to know if it’s possible that e- cigarette vapor can harbor the coronavirus.
It is extremely unlikely that vaping causes greater danger than breathing as a vehicle of transmission for the coronavirus. There is no known case of the virus being transmitted through e-cigarette vapor. In addition, the components of e-cigarette vapor are almost undetectable from the surrounding air at a distance of just 1.5 meters, and social distancing dictates that you should stand even further from others than that when you’re out of the house.
When you vape, the vapor that you exhale may hover in the air for a minute or two. E-cigarette vapor, however, is very different from droplets of saliva. Droplets of saliva are much heavier than droplets of e-liquid, and they’ll fall to the ground quickly.
While there is no evidence that exposure to e-cigarette vapor increases the chance of contracting COVID-19, it’s important to remember that people everywhere are experiencing heightened stress because of the pandemic, and many people would really rather not see e- cigarette vapor in public right now. If you do vape outside the home, use a low-wattage device to ensure that you won’t exhale enormous clouds. Always keep a generous distance away from others when you vape.