The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new initiative that aims to help 1.3 billion people around the world quit smoking and thereby reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. This was announced at a briefing on Friday, 10 July, by the head of the world organization Tedros Adan Gebrejesus, which is broadcast on WHO Twitter.
The aim of the initiative is to help get smokers out of a bad habit. The main item is the digital Dr. Florence, which can be accessed by anyone at any time. He provides advice on how to quit smoking. In addition, household chemicals manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has provided 40,000 nicotine patches to people in need.
According to Gebrews, the initiative is “extremely timely.” He said that smoking kills 8 million people annually. Scientific evidence suggests that smokers are much more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
In the first phase, the initiative will be launched in Jordan and then elsewhere in the world.
Princess Dina Al Mired, President of the International Union for Cancer Control of Jordan, said at a briefing that smoking has no advantages, it only “destroys the lungs, heart and wallet”, and makes people more vulnerable to COVID-19 and reduces the chances of recovery.
According to her, the habit of smoking is a disease that needs treatment.
At the end of January, scientists said quitting could boost healthy cell growth and eliminate the lung mutations leading to cancer that were previously thought to remain forever, even among former smokers.
The study, which was published in a scientific journal, used the tissues of 16 people – smokers, non-smokers and quitters. 96% of cells in the lungs of smokers had genetic mutations that non-smokers did not have.