The next actor set to play Batman, Robert Pattinson, has been caught smoking and vaping. He also contracted COVID-19 in September.
A coincidence? Maybe not. It turns out that both smoking and vaping substantially increase your risk of contracting the virus, probably by altering immune response to infections.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, electronic cigarette users (like tobacco cigarette users) have a depressed immune response to influenza infection, suggesting increased susceptibility to COVID-19.
This insight comes on the heels of a Stanford University School of Medicine study that found teens and young adults who vape are five times more likely to contract COVID-19 than non-vapers.
And if they vape and smoke cigarettes, they're seven times more susceptible.
If you've been vaping to stay off cigarettes, or if you smoke cigarettes — or both — it's important to stop. You'll protect your lungs from damage that makes them a target for respiratory infections, and you'll spare your immune system changes that weaken your ability to fight off flu and COVID-19.
Fortunately, there are FDA-approved smoking-cessation products. Check out ones you see online at www.accessdata.fda.gov.
Or download the quitStart app from smokefree.gov on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Then you can carry support in the palm of your hand.
You can also manage withdrawal symptoms with smoking-cessation products like nicotine patches or gum, exercise, deep breathing, meditation, and distractions such as digital games.