The recent spread of the novel coronavirus has left the world with many unanswered questions. What’s more, the so-called experts give us conflicting advice and we don’t know who to believe.
A similar melting pot of confusion is being boiled up in the vaping community. On one side of the cauldron, anti-smokers are stirring the debate by saying vaping could spread the virus.
The other side of the argument are experts saying they don’t know how vaping will effect others because there is no evidence.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of “coulds” “ifs” and “maybes” but no definitive answer. If anything, the data indicates fewer smokers are testing positive for Covid-19 that would ordinarily be expected.
If you’ll pardon the pun, the burning question on many people’s lips is whether vaping can spread Covid-19. This article weighs up the facts, and the fiction, to determine the risk of spreading coronavirus whilst vaping in public.
How Does Covid-19 Effect People?
First of all, let’s examine how Covid-19 effects people. What we do know is that the novel coronavirus is a type of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), which cause upper respiratory disease.
In short, Covid-19 preys on the lungs. Evidence shows that people with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma and COPD are vulnerable. It would appear that people who have died from coronavirus had underlying conditions.
The majority of people that contract Covid-19 are expected to survive. The evidence supports this. Although the actual percentage of mortalities is unknown, the estimate is around 1-2%.
Let’s just say if you’re healthy and do not have underlying causes that affect your lungs or immune system, you have at least a 98% chance of surviving.
Scientific data emerging from China indicates that smoking may even be protecting people from Covid-19. Of the 4,634 death in mainland China, only 1.4% were smokers.
This has baffled public health officials. Given 27.7% of the population smoke in China, ‘experts’ assumed the death toll would be far greater.
How Might Vaping Spread Covid-19?
Claims made by leading health experts in relation to vaping and Covid-19 is mere speculation. The data from China refuted most of those claims.
Even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has admitted that - as, ironically, reported by Tobacco Asia.
Subsequently, anti-vapers have turned their attention to focusing on the risk of spreading coronavirus to others.
A report published in The Herald reveals microbiologist Tom McLean, a bacteria expert based in Scotland says vapers could be responsible for spreading germs in vape clouds.
Covid-19 is transmitted to other people if it is inhaled or comes into contact with the eyes or mouth. Mclean’s argument is that respiratory droplets of saliva, mucus and bacteria are blown out with the vapour.
In the same interview, Mr Mclean commented that an outright ban on electronic cigarettes and vaporisers is not a solution. However, he did ask people that are vaping in public to be mindful of how they might infect others.
“If you are in a large crowd, move out to the edge of the crowd to have a smoke,” he said.
It’s difficult to argue with that. However, a week later another expert contradicted Mr Mclean.
Coronavirus Will Not Travel In Vape Clouds
According to the Daily Mail, a researcher at the University of California San Francisco claims Covid-19 will not spread in vape clouds - unless the person exhaling the vapour coughs during the release.
Dr Neal Benowitz, an emeritus professor of medicine, says there is insufficient evidence to support claims that vapers risk spreading coronavirus.
Contrary to the claim made by Mr Mclean, Dr Benowitz says the mucus and saliva in a vape cloud is so minimal the risk of it carrying an infection is unlikely.
“The vaping aerosol evaporates very quickly, while particles that are emitted when coughing or sneezing are large particles that persist in the air for a relatively long period of time,” he said.
Claims on both sides of the melting pot are inconclusive. Nobody has done any testing to determine whether there is any risk spreading Covid-19 via vape clouds.
The claims made by experts are opinions and opinions only.
From our perspective, we would ask that you throw caution to the wind and vape responsibly.
We know Covid-19 can be fatal so it’s only right that everyone repeat the rules. Adhere to social distancing rules, wash your hands after touching a surface that could potentially carry the virus and don’t vape where other people are present.
Covid-19 may not be as lethal as governments want us to believe, but the fact of the matter is, some people are vulnerable.
If you’re vaping in public, the sensible approach is to be mindful of others around you. Likewise, if you live with a vulnerable individual, take the necessary precautions and avoid vaping in a room where they are likely to enter.
The only data that we can rely on indicates that vaping does not increase the risk of dying from Covid-19. It remains to be seen whether coronavirus particles can be carried and spread in vape clouds.
Whatever your vaping preferences are, stay safe.