There have been many theories put out in the media lately about the possible pros and cons of vaping in relation to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The naysayers claim vaping makes someone who vapes more susceptible to infection whilst the Pollyanna’s believe that vaping adds a certain protection to the person who vapes against bacteria and infection. The war of words, facts and evidence has been raging with pro-vaping communities complaining that anti-vaping organisations are trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a driver to ban vaping. Theories and counter theories have been swapped in the media and government buildings.
So, which one is right?
What the Pollyanna’s Say
Firstly, the vaping Pollyanna’s draw their optimistic theory from a study conducted in the 1940’s named – The Bactericidal Action of Propylene Glycol Vapor on Microorganisms Suspended in Air. This study suggests that vaporised propylene glycol, (found in most e liquids), can kill airborne bacteria thus helping to prevent/block bacterial airborne viruses. The conclusion of the study stated, “that vaporized propylene glycol eviscerates many forms of bacteria, including pneumococci, streptococci, staphylococci, and even the influenzae virus.” Another piece of evidence is based on the historic use of PG vapor being pumped into schools and army barracks to disinfect the air from bacteria and viruses. Read report here …
Needless to say that every pro-vaper and pro-vaping organisation jumped on, not only the historic study’s finding but also the previous actual use of PG vapour for disinfection purposes, as factual proof that vaping could indeed help prevent or limit, to some extent, catching COVID-19.
What The Naysayers Say
A recent report published on ABC News stated that some public health experts believe that the reason a number of younger people are suffering from Coronavirus (COVID-19) is down to the fact that they vape. Although there is no scientific evidence related to this, a lot of anti-vaping organisations have jumped on this bandwagon. Another report released by MassGeneral claimed that both smoking and vaping lowered the efficiency of the immune system by damaging parts of the system that are aimed at keeping illnesses at bay.
On top of the above points anti-smoking and anti-vaping voices claim that both smoking and vaping increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 due to the coughing caused by both. They also claim that because smokers and vapers alike hold their ciggies and vape devices in their hands bringing them up to their face they could be at higher risk due to touching their faces more.
With both the pros and the cons there is not any factual evidence to support their findings one way or another, just theories. It’s true that smoking does indeed affect the immune system, but the studies conducted on vaping have only gone as far as the effects of the e liquid in liquid form and not the vapour produced by the e liquid. As far as the studies conducted on PG vapour as a force against viruses and bacteria, I personally, think are as nutty as the anti-vaping claims. COVID-19 affects anybody and everybody regardless of age, race, smoker, non-smoker, vaper or non-vaper.
The best advice is already being given by the medical, scientific and Government leaders. Stay at home, social distance and wash our hands. Vaping will not make or break the coronavirus, but following the guidance put out will. My best friend has COVID-19 and is moderately ill. He is not a vaper or a smoker and is a keen football player. He is self-isolating now and we all wish him well. The point is COVID-19 does not discriminate – so eating echinacea, stopping vaping or turning vegan will not act as a definite defense against this new virus. The only safe bet is to strictly follow the guidelines and avoid close contact with any unnecessary individuals.