Person smoking
© Warren Lynam
A group of doctors and medical professionals think forcing New Yorkers to kick the habit will help battle coronavirus.

The New York State Academy of Family Physicians is urging Gov. Cuomo to issue an executive order banning the sale of all tobacco products, citing a study that found smokers are at an increased risk of being impacted by the respiratory illness.

"As our state and country struggle to respond to the rapidly evolving and escalating COVID-19 pandemic affecting our residents and straining our healthcare system, mounting evidence demonstrates the link between tobacco use and increased risk for progressive COVID-19," the group's president, Dr. Barbara Keber, said in a statement.

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, Cuomo had already made curtailing the growing popularity of vaping a priority.

The governor presented a sweeping ban on flavored tobacco-based vaping products as part of his budget proposal earlier this year in an effort to lower the number of teen users.

That push came months after an emergency order barring the sale of flavored e-cigarettes amid a nationwide rise in vaping-related deaths went up in smoke.