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Smoke Free Life Coalition Statement on COVID-19 and Tobacco Smoking

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smoke Free Life Coalition expresses deep concern for the health of people in Bulgaria who consume tobacco products.

Smoking remains the leading preventable risk factor for the spread of non-communicable diseases worldwide. Cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, respiratory tract infections, acute respiratory distress syndrome are much more common in smokers and secondhand smokers. In those diseases, the immune system is more compromised. The World Health Organization warns that pre-existing conditions may complicate the course of COVID-19.

 23312 loresCurrently, there is insufficient evidence that people who use tobacco and related products are at a higher risk of coronavirus infection, but studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that complication in the course of the disease with required intense care and apparatus ventilation is 1.5 times more frequent in current smokers than non-smokers, and deaths are 2.6 times higher.

Studies in 55,924 cases in China confirm that the disease is more severe and the death rate is much higher in patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory diseases or cancer.

All of these data lead to the conclusion that ITS ESSENTIAL THAT SMOKERS QUIT THE USE OF TOBACCO AND ANY KIND OF RELATED PRODUCTS NOW!

The COVID-19 situation obliges the state, in addition to the unprecedented measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, to curb one of the most serious risk factors for public health - smoking, and to fulfill the commitments it has made to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ratified by Bulgaria by law.

The Smoke Free Life Coalition is also alarmed by the fact that the tobacco industry, which causes 8 million deaths annually worldwide, is using the current situation created COVID-19 to promote on social media and other channels it new " innovative and more harmless ” products. Through the donations provided to fight the coronavirus, the industry aims to improve its image to the public, which would give it greater influence in determining national health policies. According to Dr Gan Quan from The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases: With the mounting evidence that smokers are at higher risk of severe illness from this disease, the best thing the tobacco industry can do to fight COVID-19 is to, immediately stop the production, supply and sale of tobacco products.

Мore information on the relationship between COVID-19 and smoking is available the Overview of the published reports and research (in Bulgarian).

©2020 Коалиция за живот без тютюнев дим. Всички права запазени. Уеб агенция "Кая Про" ООД

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