Vaping worsens frequency of COVID symptoms

Written by | 24 Jan 2022 | COVID-19

Electronic cigarette users who tested positive for COVID-19 reported a higher frequency of COVID-19 symptoms than similar patients who don’t vape, researchers reported on Jan.13, 2022 in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health.

“The study was designed to compare the frequency of common COVID-19 symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell, headache, muscle aches and chest tightness in COVID patients who vaped, compared with those who were not vapers,” said lead author David McFadden, M.D., an internist and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “We interviewed more than 280 COVID-positive vapers and compared them with 1,445 COVID-positive people of the same age and gender, and who don’t vape. All of these common COVID symptoms were reported more frequently among people who vape.”

The investigators conducted a retrospective analysis of data from patients collected at Mayo Clinic between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. All subjects had a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

Among 1734 eligible subjects, 289 reported current vaping.

Subjects who vaped were matched by age and gender matched to 1445 COVID-19 positive subjects who did not vape.

The investigators analyzed and compared data related to age, gender, ethnicity, race, marital status, history of vaping and smoking and COVID-19 symptoms.

Subjects who vaped and developed COVID-19 infection were more likely to have chest pain or tightness (16% vs 10%, vapers vs non vapers, P = .005), chills (25% vs 19%, vapers vs non vapers, P = .0016), myalgia (39% vs 32%, vapers vs non vapers, P = .004), headaches (49% vs 41% vapers vs non vapers, P = .026), anosmia/dysgeusia (37% vs 30%, vapers vs non vapers, P = .009), nausea/vomiting/abdominal pain (16% vs 10%, vapers vs non vapers, P = .003), diarrhea (16% vs 10%, vapers vs non vapers, P = .004), and non-severe light-headedness (16% vs 9%, vapers vs non vapers, P < .001).

The authors concluded, “Vapers experience higher frequency of covid-19 related symptoms when compared with age and gender matched non-vapers. Further work should examine the impact vaping has on post-covid symptom experience.”

Co-author Robert Vassallo, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist, critical care specialist and professor of medicine “During a pandemic with a highly transmissible respiratory pathogen like SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), it is highly advisable to reduce or stop vaping and e-cigarette use and minimize the potential for increased symptoms and lung injury.” 

Newsletter Icon

Sign up to our mailing list

If you're a healthcare professional you can sign up to our mailing list to receive high quality medical, pharmaceutical and healthcare news and e-journals. Get the latest news and information across a broad range of specialities delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign Up

You can unsubscribe at any time using the 'Unsubscribe' link at the bottom of all our email journals and publications.