Symptoms COVID 19 Positive Vapers Compared to COVID 19 Positive Non-vapers

David D. McFadden, Shari L. Bornstein, Robert Vassallo, Bradley R. Salonen, Mohammed Nadir Bhuiyan, Darrell R. Schroeder, Ivana T. Croghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to assess and describe the severity of symptoms reported by Covid-19 positive patients who vaped (smoked e-cigarettes) when compared to those who did not vape or smoke at the time of the diagnosis of Covid-19. Methods: Patients from this study are from a well-characterized patient cohort collected at Mayo Clinic between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021; with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis defined as a positive result on reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assays from nasopharyngeal swab specimens. Among the 1734 eligible patients, 289 patients reported current vaping. The cohort of vapers (N = 289) was age and gender matched to 1445 covid-19 positive patients who did not vape. The data analyzed included: date of birth, gender, ethnicity, race, marital status, as well as lifestyle history such as vaping and smoking and reported covid-19 symptoms experienced. Results: A logistic regression analysis was performed separately for each symptom using generalized estimating equations (GEE) with robust variance estimates in order to account for the 1:5 age, sex, and race matched set study design. Patients who vaped and developed Covid-19 infection were more likely to have chest pain or tightness (16% vs 10%, vapers vs non vapers, P =.005), chills (25% vs 19%, vapers vs non vapers, P =.0016), myalgia (39% vs 32%, vapers vs non vapers, P =.004), headaches (49% vs 41% vapers vs non vapers, P =.026), anosmia/dysgeusia (37% vs 30%, vapers vs non vapers, P =.009), nausea/vomiting/abdominal pain (16% vs 10%, vapers vs non vapers, P =.003), diarrhea (16% vs 10%, vapers vs non vapers, P =.004), and non-severe light-headedness (16% vs 9%, vapers vs non vapers, P <.001). Conclusion: Vapers experience higher frequency of covid-19 related symptoms when compared with age and gender matched non-vapers. Further work should examine the impact vaping has on post-covid symptom experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • covid-19
  • e-cigarettes
  • vaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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