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WALES'S 440,000 smokers - including tens of thousands across Gwent - are being urged to quit now as a way to reduce the risk from coronavirus.

Emerging evidence shows that smokers are more likely to develop more serious lung illnesses compared to non-smokers.

Smokers are considered to be at more risk from coronavirus because they have weakened lung defences as a result of smoking, which damages cells protecting their nose, upper and lower airways.