Vaping and COVID-19 Risk: Another Reason Working Parents Need Help

Vaping and COVID-19 Risk: Another Reason Working Parents Need Help

When their kids have an issue with vaping, working parents don’t simply sidestep their worry while they work.

In fact, a Truth Initiative report found that 2/3 of parents who know or suspect their teen or young adult child is vaping are very or extremely concerned, and this concern translates into being less productive at work.

Now, they have even more reason to be distracted: COVID-19 risk.

According to new research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, there are significant links between vaping and COVID-19:

  • Young people who reported ever using e-cigarettes were 5 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared to non-vaping peers.
  • Those who reported both e-cigarette and cigarette use in the previous 30 days were nearly 7 times more likely to receive a positive test result and were almost 5 times more likely to experience COVID-19-related symptoms compared to those who had never vaped or smoked.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, cough, and fatigue. There’s also growing evidence that vaping may harm lung and heart health overall, exacerbating the potential damage from the virus.

The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better—the coronavirus pandemic is occurring at a time when youth vaping in the U.S. remains at epidemic levels.

When schools first closed and stay-at-home orders were put in place, parents who were working from home may have seen for the first time that it was a problem for their kids—and, subsequently, how much they needed help to deal with the issue.

Supporting Working Parents

Many employers are expanding their benefits to support employee health during COVID-19, including more robust wellness offerings.

While these efforts are important, more and more employers understand the value of providing benefits that help the whole family navigate the pandemic, including caregiving and childcare support, too.

Today, working parents are responding to schooling changes, adjusting work schedules and workloads, taking care of their own health, and mentally coping with extreme disruption and uncertainty. Knowing their teens and young adult children might be even more at risk than they thought could increase the stress and anxiety that many working parents already shoulder.

Getting the Right Resources

People need tailored support to quit vaping that includes information specific to the product they use, the triggers they face, their distinct health risks, and understanding about their specific circumstances.

That’s why the EX Program offers personalized, evidence-based resources specifically designed for young adult e-cigarette users (ages 18+) and working parents of young people who are vaping and need support to help their child quit.

With COVID-19 continuing to surge in several states, the time to act and provide support that can positively reduce tobacco use rates is now.

Visit our program page to learn more about our innovative and effective program to help families live tobacco-free or contact us to see a demo.

Megan Jacobs, MPH
Megan Jacobs, MPH

Managing Director of Product, Innovations

Megan Jacobs is responsible for the design, delivery, and evaluation of the EX Program. Most recently, Jacobs led the EX Program team responsible for the first evidence-based text messaging program to help e-cigarette users of all ages quit. She formed her expertise in mHealth interventions and public health campaigns with her work at the University of Michigan Health Service, DC Department of Health, and the National Vaccine Program Office. Her public health work over the past 15 years has applied technology to behavior change ranging from adolescent sexual health to vaccinations. Jacobs received her Master of Public Health from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University and is also a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Human Resources Today