The study (1), “tested the hypothesis that current e-cigarette use was associated with an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients seeking medical care”.
The team write how the situation regarding tobacco use and being at increased Covid infection risk is currently unclear. Planet of the Vapes readers will recall how work has been conducted by independent teams following fewer smokers presenting in hospital than would otherwise be expected.
Initial thoughts were that nicotine could act in a way to prevent the virus from attacking the body. “A meta-analysis found that compared with never smokers, current cigarette smokers appear to be at reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection,” they write. “However, little is known about how electronic cigarette use might affect risk.”
They noted that several studies have also been produced that appear to show vaping increases risk, “but this is at best indirect evidence”. They also noted that recording of data had been inconsistent and failed to ascertain concurrent use of tobacco products.
The team began by screening walk-in patients at the multisite medical practice. Clinicians recorded e-cigarette use and compared this with any diagnosis of COVID-19 within the study period.
In total, 78 547 patients were screened for e-cigarette and conventional cigarette. Removing those who submitted data they couldn’t use, the team amassed information from 69 264 patients.
They found the just over 50% of current vapers were also smokers. They also found that COVID-19 was diagnosed in 3567 patients.
They wrote: “This analysis affirms prior studies that conventional cigarette smokers are underrepresented in the population of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. As previously discussed the potential for confounding and the limitations of observational cohort studies preclude causal inferences. There is a paucity of evidence regarding association of vaping and COVID-19.”
Most importantly, they noted: “In contrast to the few prior studies that explored the association of e-cigarette use and COVID-19, we find no evidence that current or former e-cigarette users are more likely to be diagnosed.”
“We find no evidence that current or former e-cigarette users are more likely to be diagnosed”
“Similar to our findings, another cross-sectional online study from the United Kingdom (conducted in May-June 2020) found no difference in self-reported diagnosed/suspected COVID-19 between never, current and former e-cigarette users.
Compared with these previous investigations, our study analysed a clinical cohort (ie, patient seeking medical care) and used self -reported e-cigarette use data that were confirmed and documented in an EHR by a clinician. Also, COVID-19 diagnosis in our study was confirmed using a diagnostic PCR test.”
- Electronic Cigarette Use Is Not Associated with COVID-19 Diagnosis - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/21501327211024391