For Immediate Release
Oct 8, 2020
News media calls to Steve Brandy: Media Services Manager at (815) 727-5088
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Twitter: WillCoHealth


Prior to the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, much of the attention of the public health
community was focused upon the vaping issue, and the increased participation in vaping among
young people and the dangers that were becoming more obvious each day.

Now, many months after COVID-19’s arrival, there is an effort to make sure the dangers of vaping are
not forgotten. Some of the reasons are quite obvious. For example, vaping affects the lungs by
causing an oily substance to be trapped in a body organ that was not built to retain it. And sure
enough, the lungs are just one area affected and weakened by Coronavirus. COVID-19 causes
respiratory symptoms, which can include coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pains; symptoms
which can all be made more severe by vaping.

Research has indicated that cigarette smoking could also increase the severity of COVID-19
symptoms. A meta-analysis study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San
Francisco found that COVID-19 patients who had a history of smoking were more likely to have severe
Coronavirus disease progression than non-smokers.

In addition, as the public is being constantly reminded not to touch their faces with their hands on a
frequent basis due to the presence of the COVID-19 virus, the acts of vaping and smoking certainly
involve a lot of “hands to face” and “hands to mouth” contact.”

There does seem to be some positive news on attitudes towards vaping by young people. When
comparing the Illinois Youth Survey Will County report results from 2018 and 2020; more 8th, 10th
and 12th graders now consider vaping to be a “great risk.” Over the past two years, 8th graders
considering it a great risk jumped from 26% to 46%, 10th graders from 21% to 45%, and 12th graders
17% to 46%.

Unfortunately, there is also some negative news. A recent Journal of Adolescent Health study showed
that teens who vape are five times more likely to contract Coronavirus. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome
Adams says the pandemic underscores the need to get the crisis under control. “I think it’s important
that we remember this is still a problem for youth,” Adams stated. “This (Coronavirus) epidemic has
actually increased mental health issues, anxiety, and depression; which increase people’s desire to

It can certainly be difficult for an individual to stop using nicotine products, regardless of the type. The
Illinois Tobacco Quitline (ITQL) employs nurses, respiratory therapists, and tobacco cessation
specialists that can help you assess your addiction and develop a quitting plan that works for you. If
you smoke or vape, and would like help in quitting for good, please call 1-866-QUIT-YES (784-8937).
ITQL now offers counseling for anyone ages 13-17 without parental consent.

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