An article on the Washington Times points out that anti-vaping entities are doing their utmost to capitalize on the infamous EVALI outbreak, by stating that vaping must be making users also more at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
To this effect several states are looking into including some form of vaping restriction into their coronavirus response measures. Similarly the House Oversight Committee has urged the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to “clear the market” of vaping products, and earlier this month, Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi said that since hospitals across the States are struggling due to shortages of beds, the FDA should “pause e-cigarette sales for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.”
However, in line with scientific research and arguments by public health experts, we know that implementing such measures is counterproductive to decreasing smoking rates. Cigarette smoking is of course known to be conducive to a plethora of respiratory conditions, cancers and other diseases. Therefore, as COVID-19 started spreading, health authorities naturally assumed that smokers were at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
Nicotine prevents the virus from entering cells
Subsequently, researchers across the globe have now started looking into the use of nicotine patches as a possible preventative measure and treatment against the virus. Welsh consultant and orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Jonathan Davies, who is conducting one of the first studies on the topic, said the “powerful” drug has the potential to block the virus from entering cells.
Vape bans would prove counterproductive
In light of these findings, it is evident that pausing e-cig sales would prove counterproductive. While harm reduction experts remain firm in their view that e-cigarettes should only be used for smoking cessation, when even cigarettes have been found to have a protective effect against the virus due to their nicotine content, suggesting a ban on their safer alternatives is nonsensical.
Again, no one is suggesting vaping as a preventative measure against the virus. However research clearly indicates that vaping is significantly safer than smoking, therefore smokers who are unable to quit via nicotine patches or other NRTs, would certainly benefit by switching to vaping instead.