Senators call on Trump administration to act following reports vaping/smoking increases COVID-19 risks

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are calling on the Trump administration to continue its crackdown on the vaping industry after a recent Stanford University study found that young people who use either conventional cigarettes or e-cigarettes were almost seven times as likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the senators asked what research the administration had conducted on risks posed by smoking/vaping for COVID-19; what the administration was doing to ensure e-cigarette manufacturers were doing to comply with safety review deadlines; whether or not the administration would revise its guidance on flavored e-cigarettes and what research the administration was using to states and schools on the risks of smoking and vaping on COVID-19.

The letter was also signed by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

“We write to express our concern about the potential risks that tobacco use, including e-cigarette use or vaping, can pose for COVID-19 infection among our nation’s teenagers and young people. Recent research indicates that the use of such products is linked to substantially higher risk for COVID-19…,” the letter said. “The potential for these risks is especially troubling given students may soon be around each other more frequently in many communities, as schools and colleges reopen for in-person learning. We urge you to take steps to better inform the public about potential risks while also mitigating those risks through action to reduce use of these products among young people.”

Liz Carey

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