Our news stations and conversations are filled with information on the coronavirus pandemic. By now most of us know the basics but have you thought about how those facts may apply to your lifestyle and well being?
Coronavirus or more specifically, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that travels through your respiratory tract via ACE2 receptors within your healthy cells. Your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors which means COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper into your body than other viruses. This causes your lungs to become inflamed making it difficult to breathe which can lead to pneumonia and other more serious respiratory issues.
Thankfully, most people that contract COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms including a dry cough and fever. However, people with preexisting conditions may not respond to the virus as well. Preexisting conditions that may worsen the symptoms of coronavirus include:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- High blood pressure
E-cigarette users and traditional smokers alike have a higher risk of developing chronic lung conditions such as COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma, in addition to cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. All of these conditions have been linked to patients that are experiencing or have experienced more severe symptoms of coronavirus, including death.
Because COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, there haven’t been many studies investigating the specific link between severe symptoms and vaping or smoking but some evidence points in that direction.
The ingredients in vaping liquids, especially in flavored electronic cigarettes, can affect cell function in the airways and suppress the lungs’ ability to fight infection. Scientists at Chapel Hill have shown that e-cigarette use suppresses the activity of immune- and inflammatory-response genes in nasal cells, even more so than smoking. Along with that, a preprint study found that the gene that encodes the receptor ACE2, which the novel coronavirus uses to infect cells, is more active in smokers than nonsmokers.
While there aren’t direct links and studies proving that vaping or smoking increase your risk of contracting or suffering from coronavirus, the negative effects are clear.
Nicotine content in both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes can make it difficult to kick the habit but with the proper resources you can quit and be well on your way to a healthier life.