By Dr. Dave Campbell, Morning Joe Chief Medical Correspondent/ MSNBC,
Leslie Diaz, M.D. Infectious Disease Medical Director for Foundcare AND Chair of Infection Control-Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center
The United States is one to three weeks from the exponential increase in infections caused by the unprecedented Coronavirus infecting and overwhelming our healthcare system. The message millennials across the United States hear about their risk for COVID-19 has gone unheeded and created a cavalier attitude. They believe they are invincible and impervious to the virus.
They have heard no one under the age of 19 dying from the Coronavirus. This emboldens them further. They do not take it seriously when their family members tell them that they need to adhere to social distancing. There may be a lack of knowledge on the Coronavirus incubation period. They have been told to avoid catching the virus, so they do not infect their older family members who are more susceptible to the deadly ravages the virus can cause.
There is another dangerous habit that is common among many young people and that is vaping. Vaping injures the lung tissues; they may not even be aware of the long-term health consequences of vaping. They have not heard of any possible correlation to whether or not vaping increases their risk of severe forms of COVID-19. There are so many unknowns about the virus that only time will give us the answers as we further study this dangerous virus.
“Teens and young adults that use e-cigarettes may not be aware of the damage caused to their lung tissue,” Rogelio Choy, M.D., Pulmonary Specialist in Palm Beach County said. “They are more susceptible to horrendous complications from COVID-19. Inhaling any kind of substance irritates and inflames lung tissue. Vaping makes you more susceptible to a myriad of lung diseases.”
“Young adults and teens who vape will not only be at increased risk for COVID-19 infection, but intensity of presentation will be worse,” Ken Fuquay, M.D., Pulmonary Specialist in Palm Beach County said. “Vaping causes interstitial lung disease and is additive to any toxicity from the virus. This is already reflected by the higher mortality in VZV Pneumonitis, encountered in smokers.”
Parents, your teen or child who is ‘all grown up’ will not read this. It will be your responsibility to track down your loved one and politely ask for their JUUL. Once you have it in your hand, it will be your responsibility to destroy it and convince them it’s a matter of life and death. If they want to buy another, that may be beyond your control. If this style of parenting does not work for you, then come up with another safe and effective method of stopping their vaping habit.
If you are successful, then deal with the consequences of nicotine withdrawal sure to follow. Have your child Google ‘nicotine withdrawal’ to learn what they are about to undergo.
You may save their life.
Teens and young adults, Stop Vaping Now. It is not about protecting grandma or grandpa from the Coronavirus. The life you save may be your own.