One-third of young adults may be at risk of severe COVID-19, especially if they smoke or vape

Image of Smoker inhaling


One-third of young people across the country may be at risk of getting seriously sick with COVID-19, especially if they smoke or vape, according to a UCSF study that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health by authors Sally H. Adams, M. Jane Park, Jason P. Schaub, Claire D. Brindis, and Charles E. Irwin Jr.

Smoking was the most common risk factor for severe COVID-19 complications among otherwise largely healthy young people, the study found.

“I think most young adults don’t think they’re at risk,” said senior author Dr. Charles Irwin Jr., director of the UCSF Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine. “To me, that was shocking to find that smoking contributed so much to being at risk. ... It’s a message that you might be able to do something about.”

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