There has never been a more inportant time to quit cigarettes say officials who have warned smokers are 14 times more likely to develop severe symptoms of coronavirus.
This is because the virus targets the respiratory system which is weakened by smoking.
The warning is based on survey from Wuhan, China, which found smokers who became infected were 14 times more likely to develop severe symptoms.
Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at Public Health England (PHE), said “there has never been a more important time to stop smoking. Not only for your own health but to protect those around you. It will also help alleviate the huge pressures on the NHS”.
The fact that smokers repeatedly put their hands to the mouths is also a factor.