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Can I get the coronavirus from someone's e-cigarette vapour cloud?

Last Updated May 8, 2020 at 1:32 pm PDT

A man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine on Aug. 28, 2019. Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador have reported the province's first probable case of a lung illness related to vaping.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Robert F. Bukaty
Summary

E-cigarette users could pose high risk of spreading COVID-19, professor says

Vapers could become seriously ill if they contact the novel coronavirus: BCCDC

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEWS 1130 Gets Answers is an ongoing segment helping you get the information you need to keep your family safe.

Question:

This question comes from Conn: “If someone has COVID-19 and vapes, does the vapour they exhale carry the virus? Is it dangerous to be even six feet from them?”

Answer:

Dr. David White, University of Toronto professor of family and community medicine, said you are likely safe if you stay six feet away from someone who is using an electronic cigarette.

But, he said, vapers could pose a higher risk because they are more likely to cough, exhale more forcefully and touch their face more often, making them more likely to spread their droplets to surfaces.

White also noted that one cannot wear a mask, which can prevent the spread of COVID-19, while they are vaping.

The BC Centre for Disease Control says it does not know whether the novel coronavirus can be spread via e-cigarette vapour.

“Exhaled vapour can contain droplets. Keep a distance of two metres (roughly six feet) from others and vape outside to reduce this possible risk,” the BCCDC says.

The BCCDC also reminds people not to share pipes, cigarettes, e-cigarettes or any other items they might put to their mouth.

“Wash your hands well with soap and water before and after smoking or vaping.” the agency says on its website.

Vapers face a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they get COVID-19, according to the BCCDC.

“Everyone knows smoking tobacco or cannabis affects the lungs. The damage done by smoke makes it easier to get many lung illnesses. People who smoke and vape – even younger people – are at higher risk of more severe illness and complications from COVID-19.”

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