E-cigarette use can cause poorer health results for COVID-19 for people living below the federal poverty level, AmeriHealth Caritas, a Medicaid managed care/health care solutions provider, recently warned.
The use of e-cigarettes has been linked to lung and respiratory problems. These symptoms can be aggravated by COVID-19, health officials caution.
“COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, it attacks the lungs. That means people who smoke regular cigarettes, marijuana or vape should take extra precautions and consider themselves at higher risk for complications from COVID-19,” Deborah Brown, American Lung Association chief mission officer, said. “And that means that there has never been a better time to quit smoking – use this current disruption of your regular schedule to create a new tobacco and smoke-free plan.”
E-cigarette use can worsen existing health disparities in communities disproportionately affected by smoking-related diseases, Dr. Andrea Gelzer, AmeriHealth Caritas senior vice president of medical affairs, said.
Tobacco marketers often sell products in communities that have lower incomes, greater racial diversity, and lower education levels, according to a recent report by the Public Health Law Center.
During January and February, approximately 70 deaths and more than 2,800 lung injury cases were associated with the use of e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.