Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’s COVID-19 Statement

March 17, 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted all of us around the world. In this challenging time, it is important to remember that we are in this together and must all do our part to stop the spread of this virus. To that end, our staff will work remotely and will eliminate all business travel until this immediate crisis is over.

As this situation evolves, we advise that everyone stay informed on the latest information communicated by their national and local governments, including the specific protection measures and procedures recommended for your area.

Below are some basic protective measures that have been provided by the World Health Organization that all would be wise to follow.

While protective measures like social distancing are necessary to keep us safe, they can also lead to other health issues. Staying indoors, limiting social interactions, eating unhealthy foods, and following stressful, virus-related news can have a cumulative negative impact on your well-being. Therefore, in addition to measures targeted at limiting the spread of the virus, it is also important to engage in behaviors that contribute to general physical and mental health. These include:

COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness that has the potential to cause severe symptoms in former or current smokers. Early data from China indicates that smokers may have a substantially increased risk of suffering the most serious consequences of the virus. This evidence echoes existing research on influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and bronchitis—all of which disproportionately affect smokers. Increased risk of these diseases, and of the novel coronavirus, represents yet another reason for smokers to quit.

The Foundation is dedicated to improving global health and will work with our partners to provide guidance and assistance when we can during this crisis.

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