In commemoration of the ‘2021 World No Tobacco Day’, themed ‘Commit to Quit’, the Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa in collaboration with The Africa Centre for Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Policy Research harped on the need to integrate smoking cessation into the country’s healthcare delivery system. Sunday Ehigiator reports.
Annually, May 31 marks the celebration of ‘World No Tobacco Day’. The celebration is aimed at informing the public on the risks associated with tobacco use, and what individuals can do to claim their constitutional right to a healthy environment.
The theme for this year poses a challenge to smokers by encouraging them to ‘commit to quit’ smoking. And it was in line with the theme that Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and Africa Centre for Tobacco Industry Monitoring (ATIM) also called for the integration of smoking cessation into the country’s healthcare delivery system.
In his address, CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said the theme for the year was significant in view of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on smokers.
According to him, “research has shown that COVID impacts are more precarious for smokers who are already susceptible to lung damage due to smoking. The studies suggest that there is a higher incidence of severe lung complications for smokers who contract COVID as compared to non-smokers.
“A scientific brief released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier this year goes further to show that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19. In view of these findings, it is safe to conclude that smoking cessation has major health benefits for smokers.
“The benefits which can be either instantaneous or over time include reduction in the likelihood of developing cancers, heart attack, stroke, chronic lung disease, hospitalisations, and deaths from COVID-19. By committing to quit, smokers will not only secure health benefits, but also financial gains that come with the redirection of money that would otherwise have been spent on purchase of tobacco products for productive use. When you quit, you win.”