WHO launches initiative to help 1.3b people quit smoking amid the coronavirus pandemic
11 Jul 2020
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The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it was launching an initiative to help 1.3 billion global tobacco-users quit the habit during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco will help people freely access the resources they need to quit tobacco, like nicotine replacement therapy and access to a digital health worker for advice, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing on Friday.
According to the UN health body, smoking kills 8 million people a year, and evidence reveals that smokers are more vulnerable than non-smokers to developing a severe case of COVID-19, reports Xinhua news agency.
"But if users need more motivation to kick the habit, the pandemic provides the right incentive," said Tedros.
The initiative is led by WHO, together with the UN Interagency Task Force on Non-communicable Diseases (NCD).