“Commit to Quit” – WHO’s one year campaign to help millions of tobacco users

21st December, 2020


The World Health Organization (WHO) published a statement based on scientific grounds stating that smokers are at a higher risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19. Moreover, Tobacco is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which aggravates adverse outcomes with COVID-19 infection.


With the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation it has also been found that around 780 million tobacco users worldwide are motivated to quit tobacco but only 30% of them have access to proper tools and resources.


In this context,  WHO has launched a one-year long global campaign on 8th of December 2020 called “Commit to Quit” for “The World No Tobacco Day 2021”


The plan of this campaign is to help 100 million motivated tobacco users, focusing more on high burden countries where the majority of the world’s tobacco users live. This includes Bangladesh, India and Pakistan out of the SAARC Countries.


WHO describes the way forward with the campaign as to help create healthier environments that are conducive to quitting tobacco and to provide people with the tools and resources they need to make successful quit attempts. They are going to achieve these by advocating for strong tobacco cessation policies, increasing access to cessation services, raising awareness of tobacco industry tactics and empowering tobacco users to make successful quit attempts through “quit & win” initiatives. Also they are planning to create digital communities where people can find the social support they need to quit.


As the 1st step to all this, on the launching day of the campaign, WHO has initiated a WhatsApp challenge called “Quit Challenge” and has released a publication called “ More than 100 reasons to quit tobacco”.


WHO welcomes new contributions from partners, including private sector companies and calls on all governments to ensure their citizens to have access to proven tools of quitting tobacco as the strong cessation services improve health, save lives and save money.

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