Anti-e-cigarette activist groups are advancing their goal of restricting or even completely prohibiting e-cigarettes during the coronavirus crisis. They believe that smoking e-cigarettes make coronavirus patients at a higher risk of aggravating the disease.
However, the existing evidence is the opposite: if they try to persuade more smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, the number of coronavirus-related deaths may decrease today.
This is the view of Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health.
Siegel said: “It is absolutely certain that if more public health activists promote e-cigarettes than against e-cigarettes and encourage more smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, the mortality rate of COVID-19 will be reduced ” An estimated 2.5 million smokers gave up traditional cigarettes for electronic cigarettes and other similar technologies.
“People need to understand that smoking is an addictive behavior, not just nicotine, but also psychology. In a pandemic where people are under such great pressure, it is ridiculous to ask these people to ban smoking.”
Some people have pointed out that smoking and vaping can worsen the symptoms of coronavirus, and some anti-tobacco activists advocate restricting or even completely prohibiting e-cigarette products.
Earlier this month, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of the House Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee sent a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking the agency to “clear the pandemic of the e-cigarette market during the coronavirus.”
The New York State College of Family Physicians has also joined the calls to ban the use of e-cigarettes, while other anti-tobacco organizations, such as the Smokeless Children ’s Movement and Truth Initiative, have been advocating restrictions on e-cigarettes for years.
Their efforts give the impression that the risks posed by traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes are comparable. Siegel believes that is a dangerous message.
Siegel said: “There is no evidence that the use of e-cigarettes will have a significant impact on coronavirus patients.
Dr. Sally Satel, visiting professor at Columbia University Irvine Medical Center, agreed with it. “There is no evidence that e-cigarettes cause ‘interstitial lung disease or fibrous scars.” To date, thousands of smokers have been vaping for at least 10 years, but there is no evidence that their lungs were obviously injured. “She wrote. “In the long run, we must say that e-cigarettes may cause damage to the lung, although it must be less harmful than smoking.”
Even those who support e-cigarette restrictions admit that there are few studies involving the link between e-cigarettes and new coronaviruses.
When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the impact of “smoking or vaping” on coronaviruses, Ricardo Polosa, the Italian medical researcher and former president of the Italian Anti-Smoking Alliance, wrote on Twitter: “Where is the evidence? Stop put “smoking” and “vaping” on the same level. Find out the facts, mayor! “
Sieg said: “The impact of smoking on the body’s ability to heal is so great that most surgeons insist that patients stop smoking for a period of time before surgery because they know that smoking will inhibit healing and increase the susceptibility to infection.” No evidence shows that e-cigarettes have any similar effects on health.
A CDC study found, “Compared with nicotine patches, nicotine gum or other FDA-approved smoking cessation aids, smokers who use electronic cigarettes to replace cigarettes are at a higher rate.”
Health professionals such as Siegel believe that confusing the risks of smoking and vaping is both bad science and prevents smokers from switching.