Smoking causes eight million deaths each year due to health consequences such as cardiovascular diseases, lung disorders, cancers, diabetes and many other conditions, WHO warned.
Quitting tobacco can be a challenge, especially with the additional social and economic stress caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Out of 1.3 billion smokers around the globe, up to 60% has expressed the desire to quit tobacco, but only 30% have access to the tools to help them to quit successfully.
But despite significant progress, many countries are still not adequately implementing policies to support tobacco users to quit, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
To bridge this gap, WHO is working together with partners to support countries in scaling up tobacco cessation. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, welcomed the establishment of a global WHO Tobacco Cessation Consortium (“The Consortium”), a mechanism for engaging all relevant stakeholders including non-State Actors in the global effort to make comprehensive cessation support available to all.
The Consortium will have multiple functions, but ultimately the aim is for all tobacco users, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries, to be aware of, and have access to available and affordable evidence-based management and treatment services for tobacco dependence, to help them quit.
On the subject, Ghebreyesus he added to the WHO model list two new essential medicines for people who want to quit tobacco, which estimated a powerful change to fight the epidemic.
In addition to market shaping of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), bupropion and varenicline, the three essential medicines for tobacco cessation to make them accessible and affordable in countries.