According to World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic has led millions of tobacco users saying ‘they want to quit tobacco’. Therefore, in order to celebrate ‘World No Tobacco Day 2021’, WHO has launched a campaign under the slogan “Commit to Quit” to help about 100 million people quit tobacco through various initiatives and digital tools.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement released on Saturday said, “Smokers have up to a 50 percent higher risk of developing severe disease and dying due to COVID-19 disease. Therefore, quitting is the best thing they can do to lower their risk from the deadly virus, as well as the risk of developing cancers, heart diseases and respiratory illnesses.”
WHO even urged all the countries of the world to join their ‘Commit to Quit campaign’ and play their part to create tobacco-free environments with people receiving information, support and tools they need to quit smoking.
The year-long campaign started by WHO is to support millions of tobacco users who actively want to quit smoking, but still need help to succeed. In efforts to succeed, WHO has also initiated a ‘Quit Challenge’ for people to quit smoking tobacco and remain tobacco-free by giving them tips and encouragement notifications for six months on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
Special recognition award to Indian Health Minister:
The WHO Chief even recognised the efforts of the Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India, Dr. Harsh Vardhan for his initiative to control the use of tobacco in the country. Dr. Harsh Vardhan in 2019 brought a special bill that banned the use of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in the country.
With ‘The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019’, the Government of India worked towards saving the large youth population of the country that would have been targeted by e-cigarette companies.