A new study found that exposure to e-cigarette vapor increases levels of the coronavirus receptor in the lungs of mice.

Using the spike protein on its surface like a key, the novel coronavirus binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor found in the lining of our airways, and unlocks its path into our lung cells.

“It’s been shown that cigarette smokers have higher levels of ACE-2 in their lungs and that smoking is a known risk factor for developing lung disease and infection,” says Pawan Sharma, PhD and co-senior author of the study. 

“We wanted to see if a similar effect is seen with e-cigarettes or vaping, and whether any effects observed are different between male and females,” Sharma said.

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