Sent earlier this week, the letter addressed to Hahn, bases its arguments on recent data claiming that vaping increases one’s risk of contracting Covid-19 and suffering symptoms. “This is true in vapers as young as 13, which is particularly concerning, given that young people are increasingly driving the spread of COVID-19, threatening the health and safety of Americans of all ages.”
Moreover, the letter goes on to ask Hahn whether he can confirm that all this will be done withing a week, by August 18th. Written by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, the letter was written on behalf of the subcommittee.
A study linking vaping to Covid
“We thought that we’d see some relationship. We did not expect to see a five to seven times more likely relationship. That’s huge,” said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics and director of research in the division of adolescent medicine at Stanford University in California, who led the new study.
Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study also found that respondents who reported vaping in the past 30 days were 2.6 times more likely to be tested for Covid-19.
“About half of the sample was sheltering in place — because we did ask that — but that doesn’t mean they’re not in the backyard with a friend sharing their vaping product,” Halpern-Felsher said, adding that this increased risk to be diagnosed with Covid-19 could be tied to exposure to the coronavirus from sharing products, touching your face more or possibly breathing in droplets containing the virus through the aerosols of an e-cigarette. More research is needed. “We don’t know. These are hypotheses,” Halpern-Felsher said. “I actually think it’s all of the above.”
Meanwhile, tobacco harm reduction experts keep pointing out that given that e-cigarettes are known to be safer than cigarettes, switching to vaping is still recommended for smokers. Additionally, data has indicated that making vaping products unavailable would just push smokers back to smoking.
Banning e-cigs whilst leaving cigarettes available is a recipe for disaster
With this in mind, award winning Dr. Riccardo Polosa, who is a world-renowned scientist and researcher on vaping and tobacco harm reduction, had explained why it would be ridiculous to close outlets that sell safer alternatives, whilst leaving combustible cigarettes available for sale.
“Most importantly, hundreds of thousands of vapers would have been at risk of gatewaying back to smoking. It was an issue of public health in my opinion. Also, many vapers with respiratory diseases have seen a curtailment of their symptoms by vaping, and by stopping vaping we would have seen a rise in acute exacerbation in respiratory disease. This would have been extremely detrimental to the national health system at a time when you have ICU beds occupied and not available for anything else,” he said earlier this year.