To the Editor:

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. The U.S. Surgeon General declared teen vaping a national epidemic. Research will show how much they are linked, but evidence already supports advice to quit vaping (and smoking) to help protect people from COVID-19.

Both vaping and smoking damage the lungs, and the recent vaping-related outbreak of lung disorders shows how serious that damage can be. People with weaker lungs are less able to fend off the effects of coronavirus, and people who have lung disease are at higher risk of more serious coronavirus illness.

In all the messaging about hand-washing and social distancing to prevent coronavirus, we also need to emphasize the importance of quitting smoking and vaping.

To stop vaping or smoking, contact your doctor and the NYS Smokers' Quitline at 1 (866) 697-8487 and at nysmokefree.com.

SCOTT McINTOSH, PhD

Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester

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