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J. Taylor Hays, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at Mayo Clinic, and Jenny Prinsen, a nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in La Crosse, Wis., held a media briefing via Zoom to speak about the health risks associated with smoking and vaping and its relation to COVID-19. It may sound counterintuitive to a smoker who has tried to quit, but experts say that quitting smoking over the long haul is an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress in a person's life. Hays said studies show it has the same impact as antidepressant therapy on moderate depression.