Coronaviruses are respiratory infections that can attack the lungs, potentially putting those who vape at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

The new coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 is from a family of viruses that causes respiratory infections. That’s why people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma are among individuals at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

This also means that people who engage in behavior that affects their lungs — including smoking and vaping — also may be at a higher risk of complications if they contract the disease, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 20% of patients sick enough to be hospitalized are ages 20 to 44, and some health authorities are speculating whether there is a connection between this age group’s hospitalization rate and the high rate of vaping among this same cohort.

Young adult sitting on a couch, holding an e-cigarette and exhaling smoke