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There’re 2 main reasons why this COVID-19 (new name given to this) coronavirus could affect us, vapers and/or (ex-)smokers, more than the general population.
– The first one is because almost all of our vape gear ultimately comes from China. More so, if, like us, you order almost everything online from there.
– The second, is the method/vector of contamination this virus seems to have: the ACE2 receptors. These receptors are present in higher numbers in smokers’ body (see below).
Should we be worried? We don’t know and can’t answer this question.
All we can do is share the info we gathered in this past week or so.
This isn’t even an article per se, simply some info that might interest you and we thought we needed to share.
First, we advise you to NOT order products from China (or Hong Kong).
1. Because the situation is worse than described by China, the WHO and most of the media.
2. This virus (COVID19) can survive a lot longer on surfaces than previously reported (9 days isn’t even the highest estimate since colder temperature can increase its life expectancy).
It also means that the virus can survive on boxes, packaging etc…
So, if a contaminated person handles the one you order, there is a non-negligible probability to get in contact with the virus upon reception and unboxing of the package.
3. Also, this is NOT just a flu. The first symptoms may be similar but the disease is in fact a pneumonia-like one. And it’s very contagious.
Proof is, on the (only) 439 (out of around 3500) passengers and crew members of the Diamond Princess cruise ship that have been tested since it entered Yokohama Port on Feb. 3, 135 have contracted the virus.
Update: This number has now risen to 218 out of 713 tested (ABC News).
Also, the COVID-19 r0 (basic reproductive number, i.e. a measure evaluating the contagiousness of a pathogen. It gives the average number of people one infected person can contaminate) is now believed to be between 4.7 and 6.6.
For comparison sake, the flu, which is considered highly contagious, has an r0 between 2 and 3.
4. More, and this concerns us vapers and ex-smokers specifically, this Coronavirus seems to be a bigger problem for us as it likely attaches itself to the ACE2 receptors.
“Our analyses confidently predict that the Wuhan coronavirus uses ACE2 as its host receptor,” […] Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) is how the viruses enter the cells.”
And we know that the number of ACE2 receptors is higher in (ex-)smokers than average people.
Very interesting questions asked under this research paper, in the comment section:
“The article stipulates “tobacco smoking” – Question, do we know yet what in tobacco smoking causes the significant increase of ACE2 receptor sites and how does this compare with vapeing ? – In other words, is it the nicotine itself which causes the problem or other chemicals found in tobacco smoke that are not present in vaping? Also, does this ACE2 expression significantly reduce over time once a person quite smoking?”
Answer from Guoshuai Cai, one of the authors of this study:
“Excellent questions, Leo. We currently have no clue on the causality. We are looking at the ACE2 expression in populations with different smoking histories and will publish the results soon. -Guoshuai”
We hope these questions can be answered soon.
We would have liked to report better news but, and even if it hurts our website (no more affiliate commissions since we recommend you don’t order products for the time being), we needed to give you these facts.
There is hope for a possible vaccine (this is one example, many companies and researches already work on one) but remember that it takes a long time to create a vaccine. Something like a year. Though there maybe another one that should debut human trials soon and could be ready for this summer.
We strongly suggest to keep yourself informed, from multiple sources if possible as the info we get from most of the media isn’t always accurate.
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