Addressing NCDs, Tobacco Use Integral To COVID-19 Response, Achieving SDGs

Devex: Opinion: Tobacco — a slow-motion pandemic hindering achievement of the SDGs
Adriana Blanco Marquizo, head of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

“…Today, the conjunction of two pandemics — the long-simmering tobacco pandemic and the COVID-19 pandemic — has created unprecedented challenges for public health and development. Tobacco is a common risk factor for the four main noncommunicable diseases — cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes. People with preexisting conditions, especially NCDs, as well as smokers, appear to be more vulnerable to serious illness and death from COVID-19. … There is hope, however, since we know how to tackle the scourge of tobacco, and we have a powerful tool to do just that — the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. … But the sole presence of the WHO FCTC on the development agenda is no guarantee of success. … Addressing NCDs, their risk factors, and tobacco use in particular must be an integral part of the immediate COVID-19 response and recovery as well as of part of building-back-better strategies to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. … The challenge before us is clear. The solution is available. Let us join forces to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental, and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke” (11/5).

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