The CDC warns that people over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk for catching coronavirus. However, one potential high-risk group is still being investigated: vapers.

Family nurse practitioner Shelley Tomlin says vaping may cause a worse case of coronavirus.

“When you vape or smoke you destroy the hair-like projections that line the respiratory tract called cilia and what these cilia do is they clean and sweep debris out of respiratory tract, they’re a protective factor. And when you no longer have those, you make yourself more vulnerable to infection,” said Tomlin.

Director for the Center for Tobacco Research Control and Education, Dr. Stanton A. Glantz says, due to the damage vaping does to your lungs, it may be more challenging for vapers to fight the virus, possibly resulting in longterm grave damage.

“We definitely suspect that the damage caused by vaping coupled with the damage that COVID-19 causes can definitely have detrimental long-term effects on lungs,” said Tomlin.

Glantz says the CDC, among others, are urging people to cease vaping in efforts to prevent deadly COVID-19 complications.

However, LSU third-year student Eldon Smith is not quitting vaping amid the pandemic and continues to restock his vape pods supply at local gas stations.

“The coronavirus hasn’t really stopped me from vaping because I mean I guess I haven’t really come into contact with anybody with the virus, so I mean I don’t really see it as like an immediate threat to me, but I mean I guess I’ve given it like some thought, but not like serious enough,” said Smith.

Tomlin says research on the long- term effects of vaping and the novel coronavirus is still minuscule, but to ensure your body can fight the disease it is essential to free your lungs of chemicals.