Electronic Cigarette Use Is Not Associated with COVID-19 Diagnosis

J Prim Care Community Health. 2021 Jan-Dec;12:21501327211024391. doi: 10.1177/21501327211024391.


This analysis tested the hypothesis that current e-cigarette use was associated with an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients seeking medical care. E-cigarette and conventional cigarette use were ascertained using a novel electronic health record tool, and COVID-19 diagnosis was ascertained by a validated institutional registry. Logistic regression models were fit to assess whether current e-cigarette use was associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 diagnosis. A total of 69,264 patients who were over the age of 12 years, smoked cigarettes or vaped, and were sought medical care at Mayo Clinic between September 15, 2019 and November 30, 2020 were included. The average age was 51.5 years, 62.1% were females and 86.3% were white; 11.1% were currently smoking cigarettes or using e-cigarettes and 5.1% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Patients who used only e-cigarettes were not more likely to have a COVID-19 diagnosis (OR 0.93 [0.69-1.25], P = .628), whereas those who used only cigarettes had a decreased risk (OR 0.43 [0.35-0.53], P < .001). The OR for dual users fell between these 2 values (OR 0.67 [0.49-0.92], P = .013). Although e-cigarettes have the well-documented potential for harm, they do not appear to increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This result suggests the hypothesis that any beneficial effects of conventional cigarette smoking on susceptibility are not mediated by nicotine.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; covid-19; e-cigarettes; smoking; vaping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaping* / adverse effects