May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, a collective effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) and public health partners around the world to spread awareness about the risks associated with tobacco use in an effort to encourage people to stop using it. Tobacco smoking is the most common form of tobacco use globally. There are over one billion people who currently smoke tobacco and over seven million people who die each year as a result of smoking. This year, as the global community fights the COVID-19 pandemic, quitting smoking is something many people may be looking to do to improve their overall health.
Smoking is a major risk factor for cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease, stroke and more. Recently, discussions around the potential links between smoking and COVID-19 have also emerged. Although more research is needed, these links include an increased risk of spreading the virus from your hands to your mouth during the act of smoking a cigarette and developing more severe symptoms and complications from the virus..
While quitting smoking can be challenging, it is the first step towards better health. There are many resources available to support you on your journey. Telephone counselling is one option that can be done from the comfort of your own home, which is especially helpful as we continue to practice physical distancing.
If you are considering quitting, or know someone who is, our resources below are a good place to start.