CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The head of lung transplant and advanced lung disease programs at Loyola University Medical Center says this time during the coronavirus pandemic is prime for people to quit smoking.
Dr. Daniel Dilling, also a board member for the American Lung Association, said data from China has indicated that smokers or former smokers who contracted the coronavirus were more likely to have severe COVID-19 infections, be hospitalized or be in life-threatening situations compared to non-smokers.
He says Governor JB Pritzker's stay-at-home order could help those who want to quit because they may be separated from the people and places where they may be more inclined to light up.
"Because of the social distancing, some of those habits are automatically being broken,” Dilling said.
Quitting smoking gives smokers' lung a chance to recover from some of the damage they've inflicted on their lungs, he said. He advises to stay away from vaping products and from smoking cannabis.
“It affects our ability to clear infections. It affects the way our little cilia are able to clear mucous and get things out and cough things out."
Dr. Dilling says the American Lung Association has terrific tools to help people quit smoking.