Quitting smoking now could up your odds against COVID-19

(CNN) - If you need a good reason to quit your smoking habit, how about this one? It could help you fight off a coronavirus infection.

COVID-19 is known to attack a person’s lungs and one of our best defenses against that is to make sure they’re strong and healthy in the first place. For many, that starts by stopping smoking.

While scarring to your lungs can’t be reversed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are several short term benefits when you quit smoking.

One of the first things to heal is the cilia in your lungs. These are hair-like projections that wave back and forth as air moves in and out of your lungs. According to the CDC, the cilia help fight off infection and also help clear mucus out of your lungs.

Coughing also helps activate the process in the lungs to clear out mucus, especially important when dealing with novel coronavirus.

When you quit smoking, you are also helping to reduce the inflammation on your lungs, allowing you to take deeper breaths and not get as easily winded.

Though it may take several months for your lungs to clear out all the gunk from smoking, it’s a change you’ll be glad you made right now.

This can also apply to people who use e-cigarettes. While some of the toxins are different, the advantages to keeping your lungs clear are the same.

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