a href=https://talker.news/2023/09/21/study-claims-vaping-not-a-gateway-to-smoking-cigarettes/Vaping/a increases the risk of getting COVID-19, according to a new study.Chemicals in the e-cigarettes enhance infection by the virus, say University of California scientists. PHOTO BY ROMAIN B/UNSPLASH 
a href=https://talker.news/2023/09/21/study-claims-vaping-not-a-gateway-to-smoking-cigarettes/Vaping/a increases the risk of getting COVID-19, according to a new study.Chemicals in the e-cigarettes enhance infection by the virus, say University of California scientists. PHOTO BY ROMAIN B/UNSPLASH 

a href=https://talker.news/2023/09/21/study-claims-vaping-not-a-gateway-to-smoking-cigarettes/Vaping/a increases the risk of getting COVID-19, according to a new study.Chemicals in the e-cigarettes enhance infection by the virus, say University of California scientists. PHOTO BY ROMAIN B/UNSPLASH 



By Sharin Hussain

Vaping increases the risk of getting COVID-19, according to a new study.

Chemicals in the e-cigarettes enhance infection by the virus, say University of California scientists.

Their findings, published in the American Journal of Physiology, showed that two chemicals, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin enhanced COVID-19 infection through different mechanisms.

They found that adding benzoic acid, a chemical compound, to e-liquids prevents the infection caused by the chemicals.

The researchers obtained airway stem cells from human donors to produce a 3D tissue model of the human bronchial epithelium, airway system. PHOTO BY DEDE AVEZ/PEXELS 

Study first author Dr. Rattapol Phandthong said: “Users who vape aerosols produced from propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin alone or e-liquids with a neutral to basic pH are more likely to be infected by the virus.

“Users who vape aerosols made from e-liquids with benzoic acid, an acidic pH, will have the same viral susceptibility as individuals who do not vape.”

The researchers obtained airway stem cells from human donors to produce a 3D tissue model of the human bronchial epithelium, airway system.

The tissues were exposed to JUUL and BLU e-cigarettes to study the effect on COVID-19 infection.

The researchers obtained airway stem cells from human donors to produce a 3D tissue model of the human bronchial epithelium, airway system. PHOTO BY DEDE AVEZ/PEXELS 

They found an increase in the amount of ACE2, a host cell receptor for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in all tissues.

An enzyme that is essential for the virus to infect cells, TMPRSS2, was found to show increased activity in tissues exposed to aerosols with nicotine.

Prue Talbot said: “It would probably be best for vapers to quit vaping for the protection of their health and to stop nicotine dependency.

“If they cannot stop vaping, it is better to vape aerosols produced from an e-liquid with acidic pH or with benzoic acid to prevent the enhanced SARS-CoV-2 infection caused by nicotine, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin.

“However, inhalation of benzoic acid has its own risk, and data is still limited on this topic.”

Dr. Phandthong said: “The complexity is attributed to a wide range of available e-liquids, the chemical composition of each e-liquid, and different models of e-cigarettes.

“Our study only used Classic Tobacco Flavor JUUL e-cigarette and BLU Classic Tobacco e-cigarette. Even with just these two e-cigarettes, we found the aerosols and individual ingredients produced different effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

The team only investigated the initial stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggested that there are many later stages involved in infection, such as viral replication.

There is a likelihood that these additional stages can also be affected by inhalation of e-cigarette aerosols.

The team hopes the Food and Drug Administration will use their findings to implement regulatory laws on e-cigarette products.

Dr. Phandthong added: “Our findings could also help improve the design of clinical trials involving the use of tobacco products and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

“In the meantime, it is worth bearing in mind that the scientific literature has shown that a vaper who contracted SARS-CoV-2 has more complications during the recovery period and is more likely to develop long COVID-19, which can be serious and last many months post-infection.

“We hope our findings encourage vapers to stop vaping and discourage non-users from starting to vape.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker