Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a stay-at-home order on March 23 to suppress the spread of the coronavirus and made sure to get a point across to young people throughout Michigan.
“You’re not immune from this… You can carry this without even knowing it and be unknowingly exposing others to it… The fact of the matter is in America, we are seeing severe consequences in our younger people in ways that they haven’t seen it in other parts of the world.”
There is new speculation that those who smoke tobacco, marijuana, or use e-cigarettes are more susceptible to the coronavirus. Many young people have a false sense of security that they are almost immune to the virus, although 23% of confirmed cases throughout Michigan are people ages 20-39.
Since COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, those who smoke or have had battles with asthma and pneumonia have a higher chance of contracting the virus.
Vaping has gone through multiple phases since it became a trend amongst young people toward the end of 2016. It started as a once known harmless activity that helped previous smokers break their horrible habits and slowly transitioned to a harmful addiction for millions of young people. The development of e-cigarettes began to appeal more to the youth as vape juice flavors and discrete modifications became easily accessible to these individuals.
Although no research has determined whether or not smoking and the virus are related, smoking can weaken your immune system. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, spoke with CNN and noted that smoking may lead individuals to be more vulnerable.
“Vaping affects your lungs at every level. It affects the immune function in your nasal cavity by affecting cilia which pushes foreign things out.”
Smoking can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by up to four times, increases lung cancer risks in men by 25 times and women 25.7 times, and shortens the lives of men by 12 years and women by 11 years. If all humans gave up smoking of any kind, an estimated one in three cancer-related deaths in the United States would be prevented.
To learn more about the effects of smoking, visit the World Health Organization website.