Lawmakers are pressing the Food and Drug Administration to take electronic cigarettes off the market to help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis. They claim that using vape devices significantly increases a person’s risk of acquiring the pervasive coronavirus.
Illinois representative Raja Krishnamoorthi cited that vape users are five times more likely to get coronavirus, and those who vape and smoke are seven times more likely. These stats come from a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, which Krishnamoorthi included in a letter to the FDA.
One of the main concerns being addressed by lawmakers is the limited availability of coronavirus tests. Those who vape and smoke are reportedly nine times more likely to seek a COVID-19 test than others. Some people are stuck waiting weeks for an available test, so putting a halt on vaping would help free up the system, according to the Illinois representative.
Furthermore, the FDA’s regulation of vaping requires vape companies to submit an application that satisfies certain public health criteria. But shortages of laboratory resources as well as travel restrictions have ultimately extended the vaping application deadline from May 12 to September 9 of 2020.
COVID-19 has largely hurt vape companies whose factories have have had to shut down as pressure against vape manufacturers persists.