Jordan – The World Health Organization (WHO), has partnered with the United Nations Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) on Non-Communicable Diseases, UN Development Programme, and PATH to launch an Access Initiative (AI) for Quitting Tobacco that will provide much-needed support for smokers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, including frontline health workers. As part of this Access Initiative, the WHO and the UNIATF the has called on companies to help them achieve their goal.
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health answered the call and donated enough Nicorette® InvisiPatch to cover more than 5,000 people in Jordan—one of many countries impacted by COVID-19. WHO and UNIATF will work with the Jordanian Ministry of Health to conduct comprehensive smoking cessation programs using such proven methods as an AI counsellor, mobile text-messaging programs, and nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), like Nicorette products.
“Smoking-related diseases remain some of the world’s most preventable causes of death, and Nicorette has been helping people to quit smoking for over 40 years,” says Thibaut Mongon, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. “We are proud to provide people with the products and solutions that can help them live every day in a healthy way.”
There are 1.3 billion smokers around the world, but only 30% of them have access to quality services that can help them quit smoking. This is an especially concerning problem during the COVID-19 pandemic, since, according to the WHO, smoking impairs lung function, making it harder for the body to fend off coronaviruses and other diseases. Tobacco is also a major risk factor, says the WHO, for cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes—conditions that can put people at higher risk for becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19.
“We are grateful for this donation which builds on WHO existing efforts and a comprehensive programme to fight for tobacco control in Jordan. The nicotine replacement therapy will help thousands of people in Jordan quit tobacco and lead a healthier life,” said Dr Maria Cristina Profili, WHO Representative for Jordan.
In the coming months, the WHO and UNIATF plan to launch similar programs in other countries around the world both during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis, with support from partners in both private and public sectors.
This donation by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health is part of the $50Million commitment by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation to support those at the frontlines of responding to COVID-19 – from meals to protective equipment, extra training to mental health support.