This week, HuffPost UK reader Terry asked: “Does vaping by an infectious person make spread more likely?”
As it stands, there’s no evidence to show the virus that causes coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – is more likely to spread through e-cigarette vapour or cigarette smoke than, say, breathing out normally.
But, Professor Linda Bauld, a public health expert at University of Edinburgh, tells HuffPost UK: “That doesn’t mean that it’s not possible, it just means someone hasn’t prioritised looking at e-cigarette vapour with Covid.”
HuffPost UK had multiple requests to answer this question, suggesting it might be weighing heavily on a lot of people’s minds. And Professor Caitlin Notley, an expert in addiction sciences at Norwich Medical School, isn’t surprised by this.
“The interesting issue – and perhaps why this is in the public consciousness – is that vaping makes the exhalation very visible,” she says.
“So obviously at the moment with the concern about passing on infection, with vapour being very visible that makes it clear just how far exhalations carry on the wind and certainly within an indoor space. It makes it clear that someone infected with Covid is passing on that potential infection through their breath.”
One of the key reasons why we’re told to keep two metres away from others is because close contact interactions can fuel the spread of Covid-19.
The virus can spread in droplets and smaller aerosols expelled from the nose and mouth when a person talks, laughs, or breathes. These particles can then be inhaled into the nose, mouth, and lungs of others, and cause infection.