NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If you think vaping is bad for your heart and your lungs, a new study shows it can also up your chances of getting the flu, especially if you are a woman.
Local doctors with American Family Care (AFC) are warning patients about the health dangers of vaping as well as other habits that could put you at a higher risk of picking up flu infested germs over the next few months.
A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine revealed puffing on an e-cigarette disrupts a person's normal immune response to viral infections, like flu. The study also concluded that vaping really can take a toll on a woman’s immune system.
A study that appears in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) found e-cigarette vapors can trigger substantial inflammation in the lungs making them more likely to get infected by bacteria or viruses like the flu.
When it comes to lowering your chances of getting the flu, doctors offered five habits people should follow to lower their chances.
1. Avoid sharing pens. Whether at work or signing a credit card receipt at a store, never pick up a public pen because they’re covered with other people’s germs. Keep a pen handy for any situation that could pop up.
2. Knuckle it. When using a debit card machine, get into the habit of punching in your card pin with a knuckle instead of a fingertip. This way if you rub your eye or mouth with your fingertip, you’re not transferring germs.
3. Play it safe at the pump. Drivers must get gas for their vehicles no matter what, sick or not. Protect yourself at the pump, grab a paper towel before picking up the gas nozzle. You can also use the paper towel as a barrier when punching in your debit/credit card info.
4. Shake and Wash. People are more germ-conscious these days so avoiding a handshake is not as rude as once thought, especially during flu season. If you must do it, wash or sanitize with your hands immediately.
5. Hands off, please! You are constantly using either your phone or computer tablet to show friends and coworkers pictures or videos. This means other people are putting their germs on something you are constantly touching. Get into the habit of wiping your phone down with a disinfecting wipe to cut down on spreading germs. OR just text your friends photos and videos!