While Thailand is grappling with the new wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, the country has been facing another silent epidemic for years: tobacco use. Approximately 70,000 lives are lost each year to tobacco use, making it the number 1 killer in Thailand. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the harm from tobacco. COVID-19 and tobacco both attack the lungs. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can cause chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease which also increase the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes. Scientific evidence shows that smokers have up to a 50% higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.
Nearly 10 million people smoke tobacco in Thailand. Quitting is best thing smokers can do to lower their risk from COVID-19 infection, as well as the risk of developing cancers, heart disease and respiratory illnesses. Quitting can save your life and that of loved ones. The benefits to your body when you quit smoking and tobacco use in general are almost immediate. There are proven interventions to help tobacco users quit. Call 1600 the national Quitline to learn more about how to quit tobacco.
The best time to quit is now! (PRD)