With flu season in its early days and news reports revealing the true dangers of vaping on a daily basis, it appears the combination of the two could create a “perfect storm” with deadly consequences. Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reveals that use of e-cigarettes disrupts a person’s innate immune response to viral infections; the effect is especially severe in women, according to the report. Another study, this one published in the Public Library of Science, notes that the vapors from e-cigarettes can cause significant inflammation in the lungs, leaving them more susceptible to bacterial or viral infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already issued a health advisory recommending that healthcare providers counsel patients on the dangers of vaping. U.S. health officials are evaluating the role vaping may have played in at least 450 respiratory illnesses—including five deaths. For the urgent care provider, the message is clear: When you recommend flu shots (and then offer to administer one), ask patients about their vaping habits and share this latest bombshell on the potential dangers.
Vaping Raises Already-High Risk During Flu Season