CMC Cardiologist Warns of COVID Risks and Vaping

E-cigarettes compromise lung function, make even the young vulnerable

Published 4/2/2020

The expanding community spread of novel coronavirus—the virus that causes COVID-19—should be of particular concern to those who use e-cigarettes, cartridges, or other vaping accessories.  

Dr. James Flynn is a cardiologist at CMC’s New England Heart & Vascular Institute and President of the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Heart Association. He’s also an active educator about the dangers of vaping. 

“I think the big risk is that a lot of young people feel invincible and they are under the impression that young people don’t get sick with COVID-19,” says Dr. Flynn. “This is false. Anything that compromises lung function and causes inflammation in the lungs is a huge risk.”  

Initial media reports suggested older patients are more susceptible but further data analysis shows that young people are at risk as well. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that one fifth of infected people between the ages of 20-44 have been hospitalized.  

“Vaping, smoking or inhaling other irritants causes lung inflammation at any age,” says Dr. Flynn, “and potentially puts people at higher risk of complications from infection, regardless of age.”