QUEBEC – The bodies of tobacco control addressed by government Legault, asking him to emphasize to smokers on the risks they incur in the event of contamination to the COVID-19.
In an open letter addressed to the prime minister, the quebec Coalition for tobacco control, lung Association of Quebec, Capsana and the quebec Council on tobacco and health to plead with Quebec to communicate without delay to the population the risks associated with smoking and encouraging smokers to quit.
“Given that the smokers in Quebec, as elsewhere, face an increased risk of infections and complications related to the pandemic, these deserve to be better informed and equipped to face their dependency,” affirms these organizations.
“Smoking is the main risk factor common to most of the factors associated with a higher mortality rate in the face of the COVID-19: cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes,” they add.
These organizations are also calling for the abolition of the temporary financial barriers to therapies nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) and other cessation aids.
“In this context anxiety and financial insecurity for many families, the reduction in financial barriers to cessation would be not only appropriate for reducing tobacco use, but would also be an important signal of government encouraging those who wish to get rid of their addiction to nicotine,” wrote the combination.
In view of the economic recovery post-pandemic, these agencies also propose to raise the tobacco tax to replenish the State’s coffers.
According to the Institut de la statistique du Québec, nearly 13 000 people in Quebec die each year as a result of tobacco-related diseases. Quebec has more than 1.25 million smokers, of whom nearly 900,000 who smoke on a daily basis, reports the quebec Coalition for tobacco control.