E-Cigarettes, Tobacco and Child Health

COVID-19 is a lung infection that aggressively attacks the lung cells. This is a time when it is important that we do all we can to keep everyone's lungs healthy, especially our children's lungs. Inhaling secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes disrupts the immune system causing a chronic degree of inflammation in the airway. In addition, evidence shows that smoking or vaping can make you more susceptible to severe symptoms from COVID-19.

Prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke results in disrupted lung development, resulting in reduced lung function in children. Studies in men with previous prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke demonstrated that the impact on lung function is continued into adulthood. Parents underestimate the risk of secondhand exposure to aerosol from electronic cigarettes. Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke alters the immune profile of children, causing them to be more susceptible to infections. Even if parents do not smoke or vape when children are present, there are risk for thirdhand exposure to nicotine and other chemicals which remain on clothing, skin, hair and surfaces such as furniture, carpet and car upholstery. What happens now can change our children's future.

What we do know for sure is that smoking and vaping causes harm to the lungs, leaving lung tissue inflamed, fragile and susceptible to infection. "We have long known that quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health and it's especially important now. Quitting smoking and vaping can better equip your body to fight off this disease (COVID-19) and reduce the chance of the most severe symptoms."

Dr. Albert Rizzo