The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Nigeria among the 22 countries to focus the “Commit to Quit” campaign on. The one year-long global campaign for World No Tobacco Day 2021 was launched Tuesday, 8 December 2020.

The new WHO Quit Challenge“More than 100 reasons to quit tobacco” are being released on WhatsApp and publication to mark the start of the campaign.

According to the News Release from WHO, The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users saying they want to quit. The campaign will support at least 100 million people as they try to give up tobacco through communities of quitters. “Commit to Quit” will help create healthier environments that are conducive to quitting tobacco 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.

WHO, together with partners, will create and build-up digital communities where people can find the social support they need to quit. The focus will be on high burden countries* where the majority of the world’s tobacco users live.

According to the report, quitting tobacco is challenging, especially with the added social and economic stresses that have come as a result of the pandemic. Worldwide around 780 million people say they want to quit, but only 30% of them have access to the tools that can help them do so. Together with partners, WHO will provide people with the tools and resources they need to make a successful quit attempt.

“Smoking kills 8 million people a year, but if users need more motivation to kick the habit, the pandemic provides the right incentive,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

As part of the campaign, WHO will roll out global and regional cessation tools including WHO’s 24/7 digital health worker to help people quit tobacco.

“Millions of people worldwide want to quit tobacco – we must seize this opportunity and invest in services to help them be successful, while we urge everyone to divest from the tobacco industry and their interests,” said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion.

To create environments conducive to quitting tobacco, WHO has worked with partners and countries around the globe to implement tobacco control measures that effectively reduce the demand for tobacco.

WHO calls on all governments to ensure their citizens have access to brief advice, toll-free quit lines, mobile and digital cessation services, nicotine replacement therapies and other tools that are proven to help people quit.

Other focus countries include Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste; Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Federal Republic of Germany; Federative Republic of Brazil; Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Islamic Republic of Iran .

Also included in the WHO focus countries are Islamic Republic of Pakistan; People’s Republic of Bangladesh; People’s Republic of China, Republic of India; Republic of Indonesia; Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Poland; Republic of South Africa; Republic of Suriname; Republic of Turkey and Russian Federation.

Socialist Republic of VietNam; United Mexican States; United States of America and Ukraine are among the focus countries.

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