(WQOW) - Health experts say smokers and vapers not only have a higher risk of suffering the effects of coronavirus but also spreading it to others.
Doctor J. Taylor Hays, an internist with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, said coronavirus particles get stuck in the mucus in bronchial tubes.
He said the effects of smoking cause more mucus to form in the lungs, trapping coronavirus inside and increasing the chances of infection.
Preliminary data from cases in China shows the mortality rate among smokers is slightly higher than non-smokers.
On top of that, Dr. Hays says smokers who've contracted coronavirus can spread it through second-hand smoke because it often contains respiratory droplets.
There is good news. He says quitting now could provide immediate benefits.
"There is an immediate benefit in stopping smoking. It's not something that you won't notice for the next few weeks. It will happen right away. Less coughing, less shortness of breath, less mucus production. And probably those all mean lower risk of complications of a viral infection like COVID," Hays said.
If you want to quit smoking call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit this website for help.