Sussman Advises Vapers

Posted 30th March 2020 by Dave Cross
Roberto Sussman and Carmen Escrig have updated their fact sheet on information about COVID-19 and vaping to include descriptions of the aerodynamics of breathing, sneezing coughing and vaping. They say it is needed because the pandemic has provided “fertile ground for spreading misinformation on vaping and that vapers must be equipped with solid information and data to counterargue.”

“Unfortunately, the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic follows the years long ongoing pandemic of serious misinformation on vaping,” say Sussman and Escrig. “One of the main spearheads of this misinformation is undoubtedly Professor Stanton Glantz from the University of California at San Francisco.

In his professional blog, Glantz puts vaping and smoking on equal footing as serious risk factors for progression to COVID-19. Specifically, they say, Glantz justifies this assessment by stating that: “The recent excellent summary of the evidence on the pulmonary effects of e-cigarettes reported multiple ways that e-cigarettes impair lungs’ ability to fight off infections.”

They call the review that Glantz relies on, “extremely superficial, biased and selective,” adding that he omitted mentioning certain effects and ‘forgot’ to mention “evidence pointing in the opposite direction”.

“Professor Glantz is perhaps the most vocal spearhead, but he is far from being the only academic in the vast USA sourced anti-vaping activism, which is now presenting the relation of vaping and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic through the grossly biased assessments from reviews like that of Gotts et al, conflating carelessly the risks of vaping and smoking and ignoring all contrary or critical evidence.”

The Truth

“Contrary to statements by misinformation sources, there is simply no compelling evidence suggesting that vaping has the capacity to affect negatively the immune body response in order to produce the development and progression of the diseases caused by SARS-CoV-2 on e-cigarette users.”

“To better understand the possibility of a progression of infection leading to COVID-19 in vapers it is necessary to bear in mind that the overwhelming majority are smokers or ex-smokers, some of them dragging long histories of previous smoking. This smoking history is very likely an important factor that could easily render as vulnerable a vaper who (say) smoked 20 or 30 years, even if he/she has been (typically) 2-3 years vaping without smoking. Such vaper would be more susceptible to the complicated etiology of COVID-19.”

“However, this is not an intrinsic effect of vaping, but of smoking, and thus it does not justify casting vaping as a risk factor on equal footing as smoking (as inferred from misleading statements by Glantz that have been recycled by the media).” Sussman and Escrig’s full factsheet is linked below.

European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) says: “Environmental vapour is really a negligible factor for contagion. An infected vaper releases more virus from regular breathing (continuously done) than from vaping (done only when puffing an e-cigarette).”

Related:

  • “Vaping and Sars-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Technical Information for Vapers” by Roberto Sussman and Carmen Escrig – [link]


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker