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Smoking and tobacco: working towards the endgame as a vital part of post-COVID-19 recovery

28 January 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 2

As we enter 2021, it is essential that our profession reflects on the lessons learnt, and the opportunities and challenges we have faced to be able to actively respond to a world focused on COVID-19 recovery. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has dominated governmental and healthcare systems across the globe, with nations fighting to protect their populations and save the vulnerable from severe illness and death. What has become increasingly apparent is the role of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in fuelling the fire of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2020) has identified a decade of underinvestment in the prevention, early diagnosis, screening, treatment and rehabilitation for NCDs, which has significantly reduced the momentum of progress in curbing the NCD epidemic. This, combined with the current pandemic, has created a deadly interplay. People with NCDs, which disproportionately affect those from more disadvantaged communities and groups, are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill or dying from COVID-19.

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