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Coronavirus and Vaping - What to do
 

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We are not medically trained or doctors, this article was produced using research from established sources. If you are concerned, have pre-existing lung or medical conditions and worried about Coronavirus or any other viruses then please contact your doctor for advice.

Update 27th April 2020: Read the new article on Nicotine and Covid-19 – The Fight To Protect Us.

Introduction

Everywhere you look, read, watch or even hear, the center stage of all news is on the rising concern of the Coronavirus outbreak, or the official name COVID-19, which is leaving many people worried and concerned. As more and more countries are putting sanctions in place to try to prevent the virus from spreading. This has had a huge impact on the stock market, with stocks around the world dropping like a stone. So how does this virus impact vaping? In this article we will be looking at the impact it has on vaping and some precautions you can take.

The first concern

The First Concern

Coronavirus or COVID-19 has many of us worried, including all types of vapers. The first reason for this; over 90% of vape products come from Chinese manufacturing companies and China itself. Let’s take a look at some common questions being asked related to this subject.

So Let’s Look At This With Common Questions

Question: Can The Coronavirus be Transmitted By Vape Products and The Packaging?

We can understand the concern here, the vaping product is made in China where the virus originated, it is shipped to your country and sold to you. However, if we conduct a little research about the virus itself, it shows that this is highly unlikely to happen, read the World Health Organizations advice for the public: Myth busters. The research we found from established sources showed that COVID-19 can survive without a host for between 5-9 days (resource states at least 5 days), this is under optimized conditions, including temperature and clean surfaces. Other studies showed that normal disinfectants like soaps and hand gels can deactivate coronaviruses on indoor surfaces.

Top Tip: If you’re concerned with your new product being contaminated, give it a thorough clean with disinfectant wipes, and as an extra precaution leave it to sit for 10 days. Always wash your hands after handling unknown devices.

Question: Are There Any Addition Steps I Can Follow To Be Extra Safe With Vaping?

Many people want to minimize the risk completely, and unfortunately, this is simply not possible. As far as vaping is concerned, there really is not too much to be worried about. Even though we have already said that the vast majority of products come from China, the majority come from a district called Shenzhen, which is nowhere near the Wuhan district where the virus originated. That said, there is an obvious concern about how the virus has already spread across the world. We do have some extra tips you can follow to further reduce your risk.

Top Tip:

  1. Disinfecting Wipes – Once you have a new product, give the packaging and product a thorough clean with disinfecting wipes.
  2. Leave to sit – If you’re not in a rush to use your new device and you can afford to leave it for 10 days in a draw then do so.
  3. Use of Ultrasonic Cleaners – For your tank only, excluding the prebuilt-coils which contain cotton! You can use ultrasonic cleaners for your new tanks, remove the tank from the mod and remove the atomizer. Some people also are known to add a shot of vodka within the water to help the disinfecting process.
SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19

Image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Credit: NIAID-RML

Question: Is My Vape Shop Going To Run Out Of Stock

As we said, over 90% of vaping products are manufactured in China, and some vape resellers are already issuing warning notices to their customers that stock may be limited for the next 4-8 weeks. This has occurred because China has put in quarantines in many cities, which affects people’s travel (to and from work) and also delivery drivers etc. Effectively closing down manufacturing companies. To put this worry into perspective, this is only related to the physical hardware, not e-liquids. So to answer this question, yes, there will be an effect of new vape products available in the coming weeks.

Top Tip: Although it’s highly unlikely that e-liquid manufacturing will be effected (due to local businesses producing their own), it may be a good idea to stock up on coils for the next month. The shortage of hardware will only be in effect for a few weeks, so 2-3 extra coils and batteries are ample, no need to panic buy!

The second concern

The Second Concern

There are heated discussions on forums and in the media on the coronavirus epidemic and the effects of e-cigarette use (along with smoking). Recently, New York City (NYC) Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned in a news briefing (edited here, that smokers and vapers are at increased risk. The media were not slow in reporting this either, with the likes of Reuters picking up the story.

Why The Concern?

The hypothesis was taken from an early and small study published in the Chinese Medical Journal, it concluded that 85.9 percent of the 78 patients tested showed an improvement to their health, whilst 14.4 percent (11 patients) showed disease progression. The study also showed that patients with a history of smoking showed a 14-fold higher odds of disease progression. Unfortunately there were only 5 smokers of the 78 that were smokers, and 3 of those had disease progression.

Another study published by New England Journal of Medicine showed 12.6% of cases were current smokers.

These studies clearly show that there is no clear correlation to smokers and the coronavirus, the studies are both too small and not proportionate enough to draw any clear conclusions.

What About Vaping

We wrote an article just the other day asking if Vaping was the silent killer showing that vaping is not the route cause of the latest lung disease epidemic hitting the states. This is not unusual, there have been past reports that vaping causes other health issues such as popcorn lung and Thalidomide, both were easily disproved.

As vaping is becoming increasingly popular, the media like to pick up on any related vaping story and run with it, no matter how distant it is from regular vaping. This is also the goal of anti-vaping campaigns around the world.

The truth of the matter is though, there is ZERO evidence to show that vaping or electronic cigarettes have any connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. We simply do not have any data.

What About PG Being An Anti-Bacterial Property

Although there is no evidence that vaping has a correlation to the coronavirus (COVID-19), there are a lot of studies and evidence to show that propylene glycol (PG), one of the main ingredients in e-liquids, typically between 30-50%, has both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. But these studies are relatively old and related to air-borne Influenza virus, not COVID-19 and as such, again, we have no real evidence that PG can protect you from coronavirus although we also cannot rule out that the use of propylene glycol might have some beneficial effects.

It is a huge shame that these reports published from the media such as Reuters are not just coming from people who are well-known for their dogmatic, biased political stance against tobacco harm reduction and e-cigarettes but also from people with zero background in public health.

Resources

Overview Of Coronavirus From The NHS

UK Official information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information and guidance from WHO on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Learn more about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) from the CDC

National Institutes of Health – Coronavirus Disease

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Nicholas King
Nicholas King

Hi! I’m Nicholas King, the founder, and Chief Editor at SmokeTastic. As an ex-smoker and now vaping enthusiast for over 13 years myself, I understand the transition between smoking and vaping. My aim is to share useful information about all the different vape and e-cig products on the market, self-help tips, and detailed reviews.

I hope you find something on SmokeTastic that helps you with your decision process.

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