The use of e-cigarettes is linked to a long list of potential health problems. According to experts, you can now add an increased risk of COVID-19 symptoms to that list.
COVID-19 affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. Not surprisingly, smoking traditional tobacco products or vaping could make COVID-19 symptoms more severe. Smokers and vapers may also be more prone to contracting the virus.
JUUL vaping lawsuits are being updated to cover new information about vaping and coronavirus. If you have already filed a JUUL lawsuit with Sanders Phillips Grossman, your case will be updated to reflect this new risk. And if you were diagnosed with COVID-19 while using JUUL products, you should let your attorney know.
Does Vaping Make Coronavirus Worse?
Last summer and fall, hundreds of teenagers started showing up to hospitals with a mysterious and life-threatening vaping-related illness. The teens displayed symptoms similar to COVID-19, including shortness of breath. Some ended up in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator for weeks. The CDC reported dozens of deaths from what they called e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI).
Although the CDC eventually linked EVALI to Vitamin E acetate, vaping-related illness is a reminder of what can happen in severe coronavirus cases. One in six COVID-19 patients becomes seriously ill and has trouble breathing, says the World Health Organization. The WHO adds that people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and lung disease, appear to develop serious coronavirus illness more often than others.
Of particular concern to vapers is that products like JUUL may cause underlying health conditions that puts them at higher risk of serious complications if they contract COVID-19.
“People with underlying health issues, such as heart or lung problems, may have increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19,” an FDA spokesman told Bloomberg. “This includes people who smoke and/or vape tobacco or nicotine-containing products. E-cigarettes can damage lung cells.”
Does Vaping Weaken Immunity?
Generally, as people age, their immune systems weaken and they are more prone to infection. But younger patients have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at higher rates than expected. Youth vaping could help to explain the phenomenon.
A professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) indicated that doctors are monitoring vaping as a possible connection to young COVID-19 patients. “Vaping, like smoking, depresses immune function in your lungs,” said Dr. Stanton Glantz. “A couple of colleagues here who are actually taking care of patients have noticed younger people who came in were vaping.”
In a separate post, Glantz provides a summary of the evidence on e-cigarettes and increased susceptibility to and/or delayed recovery from respiratory infections.
These concerns are echoed in a blog post written by the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape,” the Director wrote. The post cites an NIH-supported study that links vaping to lung cell harm and diminished infection fighting ability.
Research also suggests that smokers and vapers are more likely to spread and contract coronavirus due to increased hand-to-mouth contact. COVID-19 transmits via droplets from the mouth, so when users touch an infected surface and then vape, they could increasing the chances of infection by touching their mouth and face.
JUUL Labs Now Facing Coronavirus Claims
JUUL vaping lawsuits claim that JUUL Labs, Inc. failed to warn about dangerous side effects such as popcorn lung, nicotine poisoning, and nicotine addiction. As more is learned about vaping and coronavirus, lawyers are updating JUUL lawsuits accordingly. Lawsuits are noting the evidence that JUUL users are at greater risk of suffering more serious complications from the coronavirus. They’re also seeking costs for medical monitoring and treatment caused by the exacerbation of injuries from vaping.
In addition to filing JUUL lawsuits, Sanders Phillips Grossman has established a JUUL Task Force to fight the problem of teenage vaping at the local level and recover damages for schools, municipalities, states, and government agencies. The Task Force recently presented a webinar that details the medical and legal issues of vaping litigation.