People with smoking habits are at 50 per cent higher risk of contracting the Covid-19, World Health Organisation had said on May 28 ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Monday (May 31),
Urging smokers to quit, the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Smokers have up to a 50 per cent higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19, so quitting is the best thing smokers can do to lower their risk from this coronavirus.”
“We urge all countries to play their part by joining the WHO campaign and creating tobacco-free environments that give people the information, support and tools they need to quit, and quit for good.”
Globally, roughly 39 per cent of men and 9 per cent of women use tobacco. The highest smoking rates are currently found in Europe at 26 per cent, with projections only showing a 2 per cent decrease by 2025 if urgent government action is not taken, the WHO said in a report.
Since last year, the whole world, including India, has been battling a severe crisis or coronavirus. India has been the second most affected country in the world after the US in terms of cases.
Along with Covid-19, the WHO report mentions that it may create the risk of developing cancers, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses. The WHO in this regard has launched the campaign to support millions of tobacco users, actively taking steps to save their lives, but still needs help to succeed.
‘Commit to Quit’ tobacco campaign has made resources from its Quitting Toolkit freely available to more than a billion tobacco users, less than 5 months into the year-long campaign. The campaign is currently working directly with 29 focus countries.
“Dr Harsh Vardhan was instrumental in 2019 national legislation that bans E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in India,” the WHO said in a statement.