The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is spreading the message to all Australians that ‘There is light at the end of the tunnel, not at the end of a cigarette’ on World No Tobacco Day.
For this year’s World No Tobacco Day, NACCHO’s message is particularly timely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a statement, “Tobacco kills over 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases.”
NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills states, “There is no better time to think about how smoking affects your health, your loved ones and your financial position during this COVID-19 pandemic. Smoking can mean you are more susceptible to developing lung disease. I want to remind everyone that there is light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel, not at the end of a cigarette.
“Chronic diseases such as respiratory diseases (including asthma), heart and circulatory diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney diseases and some cancers are more common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and tend to occur at younger ages, than among other Australians.
“I would like to remind everyone especially during these times of COVID-19, stop sharing cigarettes with others or smoking used cigarette butts. Every step counts to ensuring the wellbeing of yourself and those close to you.”