Long time champions of harm reduction Public Health England have recently released their advice for smokers and vapers during this time of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Unlike the WHO or CDC their information is clear, concise and to the point.
In this advice they cover both smoking and vaping. Here are some of their main points and takeaways as it relates to using less harmful vapor products
- if you smoke, you generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infection and of more severe symptoms once infected. COVID-19 symptoms may, therefore, be more severe if you smoke
- e-cigarettes (vapes) can be an effective aid to stopping smoking and staying smokefree
E-cigarettes (vapes) can be an effective aid to stopping smoking and staying smokefree. The evidence on the health risks of e-cigarettes is still developing. However, it is clear that vaping is far less harmful to the respiratory system than smoking. There is very little evidence on vaping and COVID-19 and it is unknown whether vaping makes you more susceptible to severe disease if you become infected. If it does, the risk is likely to be much less than if you smoke.
Vaping remains much less harmful than smoking for most people and it is very important that you avoid returning to smoking.
Vaping involves repetitive hand-to-face movements, which provide greater risk of a route of entry into the body for viruses. To reduce the risk of contact with COVID-19, you should:
- wash your hands more frequently than usual, for 20 seconds, with soap and water (or use hand sanitiser if soap is not available)
- clean your e-cigarette regularly
Public Health England (PHE) strongly advises against sharing any vaping devices.
PHE’s 2018 independent e-cigarette evidence review found that, to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be caught from passive exposure to e-cigarette vapour, but in the absence of evidence, we recommend that vapers avoid exhaling clouds of vapour in the presence of others.
As I said, clear, concise and complete. They feel no need to sensationalize any of the information like we do here in the United States. Sayin things like
it is unknown whether vaping makes you more susceptible to severe disease if you become infected. If it does, the risk is likely to be much less than if you smoke.
Reasonable and rational advice, if this were being communicated by the US Mainstream media I can only imagine what the headline would be. It’s enough to make you wonder why our news outlets wants us so scared of vaping.