SHREVEPORT, La -- A new study out of Stanford University shows that teens who vape are more likely to contract COVID-19.
The study, which surveyed more than 4,000 people aged 13-24, found that those who vape were five times more likely to catch COVID-19 than non-users.
Dr. Ricky Bass, professor of internal medicine and pediatrics for LSU Health Shreveport, said this is troubling, especially for kids in Louisiana.
“Unfortunately, in Louisiana from 2017 to 2019, the incidence or use of vaping amongst even middle schoolers had more than doubled," he said.
Medical experts say one reason for the higher coronavirus contraction rate in adolescents could be because frequently they vape together, and sometimes even share vapes.
But even without the COVID-19 risk, vaping is dangerous. The chemicals in vaping products can lead to respiratory problems and lung damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is especially dangerous for young brains. Nicotine can harm the parts of the developing adolescent’s brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control.
“I think it’s really important for parents to talk to their kids about vaping, especially since many kids don’t realize that vaping has these increased risks to their health, their brain development,” said Bass. “It’s important for parents to bring these issues up with their kids and tell them in an age appropriate way that vaping isn’t good for both the respiratory health or potentially their brain health.”
For more information on the dangers of vaping in adolescents, visit the CDC’s website at www.CDC.gov.