WASHINGTON, D.C. — Results from an online survey of youth and young adults just published in the Journal of Adolescent Research show no association between being a current exclusive user of vaping products or combustible cigarettes and receiving a diagnosis of being positive for COVID-19.
Despite these findings and the major limitations inherent in online surveys, some journalists have jumped at the opportunity to run headlines declaring that teen vapers are up to seven times more likely to get COVID-19. This finding is based on the results of respondents who reported both smoking cigarettes and vaping. However, as stated above, the association disappeared when the researchers examined youth and young adults who reported only vaping or smoking.
This curious finding — that smoking or vaping alone does not increase your risk of contracting COVID-19 but using both products suddenly skyrockets your risk — cannot be easily ignored. That has not stopped activist lawmakers like Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chairman of the House’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, from seizing on this finding to urge the Food & Drug Administration to ban all vaping product sales during the COVID-19 crisis.
I saw this study this morning and foolishly thought it wouldn't get this kind of coverage. The study found no significant association between past 30-day vaping and COVID-19 diagnosis. Journalists, it's right there if you look! https://t.co/VOZ49ncmtx pic.twitter.com/88lzy6TYyq
— Jacob Grier (@jacobgrier) August 11, 2020
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a pro-vaping advocacy group, released the following statement:
“This online survey found no association between having exclusively vaped during the past 30 days and reporting a positive COVID-19 test. In other words, the activist researchers came up empty with the key goal they had for this research, which was to find a link between vaping and COVID-19.
“If we are to believe these results have real-world implications, then we must believe that exclusively smoking or vaping poses no additional COVID-19 risks, but using both products greatly increases your risk. Furthermore, having ever used an e-cigarette in your life increases your COVID-19 risks, but having only vaped in the last 30 days does not. This is all scientifically illogical and no serious health academic would draw conclusions from such contradictory data.
“It is remarkable that this online survey pseudoscience is being hyped up by the media when large, properly performed studies are finding results on smoking and COVID-19 that are completely contrary to the narrative being pushed by campaigners.
“Congressman Krishnamoorthi has shown time and time again that his primary concern is generating headlines, not ensuring that public health policy is based in science. The only winners when safer vaping products are banned are tobacco companies.”
About the American Vaping Association
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and sensible regulation of vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximizing the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.