COLORADO SPRINGS — The CDC says over 10 percent of Americans still smoke cigarettes, despite knowing the dangers.
The agency says the COVID-19 pandemic should be reason enough for every smoker to kick the habit for good.
Every 12 to 20 seconds your lungs bring fresh oxygen into your body, but a smoker's lungs are inflamed.
Harmful chemicals in cigarettes attack the respiratory system making inhaling, and especially exhaling, harder.
Smokers can also more easily catch pneumonia, bronchitis, and other respiratory illnesses.
"What we've seen repeatedly in every country and in the United States is those people who have underlying conditions or compromised lungs are at much greater risk for the most severe consequences," said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Tobacco Free Kids Campaign. "There is nothing that an individual does that causes greater harm to their lungs than smoking."
Most smokers already know they should quit, but as the coronavirus pandemic continues, doctors and anti-tobacco advocates across the country are telling smokers and vapers to put it out.
"You'll seen an almost immediate improvement in your lung function, so don't ever have the notion of 'gee it's too late.' No, it's never too late," Myers said.
In other words the coronavirus attacks your lungs, so if your lungs are not healthy and you catch the virus, your chances of beating it decrease.