Recently a number of reports have surfaced claiming that vaping radically increases susceptibility to COVID-19 infection among the young.
For example, Sky News reports:
Teenagers and young adults who vape may be up to seven times more likely to catch coronavirus, a study has found.
Researchers, who surveyed 4,351 Americans aged 13-24 years in May, found those who had used both e-cigarettes and cigarettes were seven times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
This report got a lot of media attention and some recommended much more stringent control of vaping as a response to the virus. One congress member wrote to the FDA to demand that vaping products be banned using the report's evidence.
There are some reasons to be skeptical of this report. Several studies have shown some protective effect of nicotine on COVID-19 infection or progression. One review argued the following:
...In light of these findings, they propose that pharmaceutical nicotine may be used as a potential treatment option in COVID-19. ... nicotine is relatively safe for human consumption at low concentrations as nicotine replacement therapy as well as nicotine-containing vaping and heated tobacco products...
That's two diametrically opposed opinions. One calls for nicotine delivery devices to be banned. Another proposes their use as a prophylactic against the virus (based on large studies of people actually ill with the disease). Which is right?
Is the claim from the congressman that vaping increases the risk of catching COVID-19 credible?