Smokers are considered to develop up to 50% risk of severe COVID-19 infection. The death rate due to the infection is likely to be high among smokers.
This statement was said by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation(WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Sunday. He further focused on quitting smoking as it is the best thing one can do to decrease the risk from coronavirus.
“We urge all countries to play their part by joining the WHO campaign and creating tobacco-free environments that give people information, support, and tools they need to quit and quit for good,” Dr. Tedros added.
The “commit to quit tobacco” initiated by the World Health Organisation has made resources freely and easily available to near about a billion tobacco users, less than 5 months into the year-long campaign. The campaign provides resources like quitting toolkit to the tobacco users,
WHO started the campaign to promote those millions of tobacco consumers who are actively taking footsteps to save their lives, but still require help to succeed.
The ‘commit to quit tobacco’ campaign is presently working with 29 focus countries. Each country complied with WHO on certain activities, including, running national awareness campaigns, releasing new digital tools, training health workers, opening new cessation clinics, supporting nicotine replacement therapies through WHO partners, establishing national toll-free quit lines, making quitting courses available, revising policies, engaging youth, and much more.
The Quit Challenge provides regular notifications of tips and encouragement for up to 6 months to help individuals remain tobacco-free. It is available without any cost on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WeChat.
On worldwide absis, around 39% of men and 9% of women consume tobacco. The highest smoking rates are presently ascertained in Europe at 26%, with projections only showing a 2% reduction by 2025 if urgent government action is not taken.
Director-General’s Tobacco Control Awards, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has provided special recognition awards for tobacco control to the Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, and to the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, UK.