(CNN)The associations between vaping cannabis and respiratory health symptoms haven’t been fully known before — but one new study has revealed a key discovery.
The study, which published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that vaping cannabis at any frequency was linked with symptoms of bronchitis and wheezing in young adults around 19 years old.Toward the end of 2019, mysterious cases of lung injury associated with using e-cigarettes or vaping products — described by the US Centers for Disease Control as EVALI (which stands for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) — broke out.
More than 2,800 people from all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands had been hospitalized for or died from EVALI by mid-February of 2020, according to the CDC.
That was shortly before the spread of coronavirus, which can also harm a person’s respiratory health if that person gets infected with coronavirus and then develops the respiratory disease Covid-19.
“With (Covid-19) happening, we just kind of knew that people who had vaped nicotine or had vaped cannabis were presenting a unique respiratory illness that wasn’t really well understood,” said the study’s first author Jessica Braymiller, a postdoctoral researcher at the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science at the University of Southern California.
“The pandemic has really underscored the importance of understanding what could make respiratory symptoms worse.”Since lungs are one primary organ severely affected by the virus, people who smoke and vape may be at higher risk for serious illness and death from Covid-19, health experts have said.