Published: 2020-07-11 13:05
Last Updated: 2020-07-11 14:30
Jordan will be the first country to benefit from the World Health Organisation’s global quit smoking initiative.
The Access Initiative for Quitting Smoking, launched Friday, aims to assist the 1.3 billion smokers worldwide quit during the coronavirus pandemic, through free access to support such as nicotine replacement therapy and health advice.
“Smoking kills eight million people a year, but if users need more motivation to kick the habit, the pandemic provides the right incentive,” said WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanum Gebriusos.
Gebriusos pointed out that smokers are more vulnerable than non-smokers to develop a severe case of coronavirus.
The WHO has introduced its “first-ever digital health worker, based on artificial intelligence” called Florence. It dispels myths around coronavirus and tobacco, and helps people develop personalised quitting plans.
Florence is available online via video stream or text.
"I am pleased that Jordan is part of this initiative, which will help to advocate for tobacco control, and support civil society organizations in their continuous efforts for a healthy future for a smoke-free Jordan," said the President of the Union for International Cancer Control, Princess Dina Mired.
“The relationship between smoking and COVID-19 makes it necessary for governments to pass comprehensive tobacco control laws that protect the health of their people during this pandemic and beyond."