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E-cig and cigarettes: risk of serious covid in young people

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Smoking and vaping also expose young and healthy people to a greater probability of contracting severe covid, because they favor inflammatory mechanisms and cardiovascular complications.

Cigarettes of any type, including electronic cigarettes, also expose young and healthy people to a greater likelihood of contracting severe covid, because they open the door to increased inflammatory mechanisms and cardiovascular complications that can occur after the first few days of the initial infection . Even if cigarette smoke is, of the two factors, the most harmful, the vapors of e-cigs are not “innocent”: if you really have to get sick of covid, it would be better to do it as a non-smoker.

Dangerous proteins. Smoking and vaping are dangerous habits for different types of lung diseases, but their relationship with covid is still being studied, given the relatively recent occurrence of this disease.

That’s why “it was interesting and rather unexpected to discover that vaping can alter the levels of key proteins that the covid virus uses to replicate itself,” explains Theodoros Kelesidis, associate professor of medicine in the Infectious Diseases division of the University of California, Los Angeles. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine.

Aid to the virus. Kelesidis and colleagues examined the levels of some proteins that SARS-CoV-2 uses to replicate in the plasma (the liquid component of blood) of 45 non-smokers, 30 vapers and 29 traditional smokers.

The plasma of those who used cigarettes and e-cigs had increased amounts of three proteins in particular (the enzyme furin and the proteins sCD163 and L-selectin) present either on immune cells or directly on tissues, such as the lungs.

Better not smoke at all. Smoking and vaping would appear to encourage the expression of proteins in the host that the virus uses to multiply, which could result in more violent immune reactions.

Even if what was discovered will be explored in further studies and on larger samples of volunteers, «those who use e-cigarettes could be at higher risk compared to non-smokers to develop infections and inflammatory disorders in the lungs,” Kelesidis clarifies. “E-cigarettes are not harmless and should only be used for the shortest possible period during the smoking cessation journey, or not used at all by non-smokers.”

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