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No matter what you smoke (or vape) the coronavirus pandemic is the perfect time to quit, doctor says

Now that we're all dealing with the coronavirus pandemic together, are cannabis smokers more at risk? An internal medicine doctor weighs in.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — You’ve probably heard it before: smoking is bad for you. In California, cannabis is legal and popular recreationally. And a lot of people smoke weed.

Now that we're all dealing with the coronavirus pandemic together, are cannabis smokers more at risk? ABC10 went to an internal medicine physician Dr. Tom Hopkins for answers.

"Absolutely. We know that to be true," said Hopkins.

Hopkins specializes in internal medicine in Roseville. He says smokers of all kinds should just stop.

“Smokers, probably vapers in the younger folks, they're people who are more likely to be at risk because the place it kills people is because it causes lung damage," Hopkins said.

Doctors are still studying the effects of smoking weed on the lungs but WEB MD reports that if you smoke weed regularly, you could have the same breathing problems as someone who smokes cigarettes. And Hopkins said it’s not just marijuana.

“Any type of particulate matter that you inhale in your lungs that can cause damage is probably placing you at risk," said Hopkins, who goes so far as to say cannabis users should do everything they can not to smoke. "We really shouldn't be inhaling anything bad into your lungs period."

Hopkins said cigars, hookah, anything that you smoke should be reconsidered.

"We know those folks are at great risk for lung damage and great risk for COVID-19 to really cause lung damage where they're going to fight for their lives. This is the issue of why there's great need for ventilators because COVID-19 does great damage to the lungs. If there's any opportunity to stop vaping, to stop inhaling anything into your lungs that put you at risk, to stop smoking, this is the time,” Hopkins said.

You may have heard it before. Not smoking or vaping could save your life. That’s especially true when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It really likes the host that it's more likely to kill. It's going to be more likely to kill those folks who have underlying lung damage," Hopkins said.

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