Vaping and COVID-19 - Combating Misinformation

Friday, March 27, 2020

Dear all,

We are sending out the following resource to all of our members so that you are armed with current and accurate information about COVID-19 and vaping. You may find this useful in conversations with friends and family about any risks or concerns about using smoke-free alternatives during this crisis.

We hope you are well!

Your Elda Team

PURPOSE The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic provides fertile ground for spreading misinformation on vaping. Vapers must be equipped with solid information and data to counterargue.

ON SMOKING. The relation between smoking and the progression to severe conditions of COVID-19 is still uncertain, though identified vulnerability conditions for this progression (cardiovascular and respiratory disease, diabetes) in mostly senior patients are strongly correlated with long term harms from smoking.

ON VAPING. There is no evidence that vaping (intrinsically) increases the risk of infection or progression to severe condition of COVID-19. When evaluating risks on vapers it is necessary to consider that most are ex-smokers or still smokers. Vapers with a long previous smoking history could exhibit conditions seen in vulnerable patients. However, this would not be an effect of vaping but of previous smoking. Since completely switching from smoking to vaping improves cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, smokers who switch to vaping are expected to have a better prognosis if infected by SARS-CoV-2

ON PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG) AS DISINFECTANT. Because of its hygroscopic nature PG vapor (not droplets) can act as environmental disinfectant wiping out pathogens under specific physical conditions. However, there is no evidence on whether this effect will work on SARS-CoV-2 and in the context of vaping.

ON ENVIRONMENTAL VAPOR. While there are no reported and verified cases of contagion, the saliva droplets carrying SARS-CoV-2 virus are much heavier than the rapidly moving volatile droplets of exhaled vapor. Therefore, vapor exhaled by an infected vaper is likely to spread as much viruses as in normal respiration in the personal breathing zone, far less and far closer than spreading by sneezing or coughing.

RECOMMENDATIONS. The precautions to prevent contagion from virus carried by e-cigarette vapor are the same “social distancing” measures recommended to all the population including non-vapers: avoid physical contact and proximity to others. For vapers specifically: vape with low powered devices, avoid vaping in public indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces vape at least 2 mts away from others.