Questions for “COVID-19 risk linked to vaping, but addicted kids find it hard to stop”

a photo of a girl vaping and blowing smoke out of her nose

Rates of vaping have been steadily climbing among kids and young adults. Now vaping is being linked to COVID-19, offering yet another reason to try quitting.

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To accompany “COVID-19 linked to vaping, but addicted kids find it hard to stop


Before Reading:

1. How many people, if any, do you know who use electronic cigarettes? Do any of them want to quit? If yes, what reasons have they given?

2. Name three risks that have been linked to teen vaping.

During Reading:

1.  What are some symptoms of the new coronavirus? Among teens and young adults, how likely are smokers or vapers to show coronavirus symptoms, based on the new study?

2.  How much more likely are young people who vaped to be diagnosed with COVID-19? How many times did they need to vape to show an increased risk, according to the new study?

3.  What are at least three reasons that vaping might increase someone’s risk of becoming infected with COVID-19?

4.  How many teens in the PATH study said they had used e-cigarettes in the past month? How many of them said they also wanted to quit vaping?

5.  Why does Bonnie Halpern-Felsher worry that this number may be an understatement of how many kids want to quit vaping today?

6.  What does it mean to be addicted to something? And what evidence is cited in the story that teen vapers are becoming addicted to nicotine?

After Reading:

1.  Most people already have heard that e-cigarettes can pose at least some risk of harming a vaper’s health. What is so appealing about vapes to teens and young adults that they find using e-cigarettes outweighs those risks?

2.  COVID-19’s symptoms tend to be greatest in adults, especially the elderly. Do you think that makes the additional risk of infection linked to vaping important for kids — or no biggie? Explain your reasoning.

Lillian Steenblik Hwang is the associate digital editor for Science News for Explores. She has a bachelor's degree in biology (and a minor in chemistry) from Georgia State University and a master's degree in in science journalism from Boston University.