President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that quitting smoking leads to happier and healthier lives for smokers and non-smokers alike and that stopping the expensive habit would serve as a welcome relief toward the financial burdens on the household. He made this statement in his address to the nation on the occasion of this year's World No-Tobacco Day, celebrated on the 31st of May of each year.
In his statement, President Solih highlighted the current precarious situation within the world and the Maldives due to the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing us to reevaluate our choices regarding our health and welfare. He noted that as the country grapples with the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic, quitting smoking would relieve a part of the financial burden on the household. He further said that smoking is a deadly habit scientifically proven to facilitate serious non-communicable illnesses ranging from lung disease and diabetes, to cancer. He stated that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had released statistics reporting that 8 million people die worldwide every year due to the harmful effects of smoking, and encouraged all smokers to stop the risky and expensive habit.
The President went into additional detail regarding the toll taken by Covid-19 on smokers, reiterating that smokers' weakened lungs and respiratory functions make them severely vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19, as it is a virus that attacks the host's respiratory system. He revealed that recent studies conducted into Covid-19 reported that smokers are more likely to lose their lives to the illness than non-smokers.
President Solih appealed to the public to join in the government's efforts to provide a dignified, healthy and happy life for all citizens and encouraged all smokers to do their part and quit smoking. He ended his statement with a prayer to Almighty Allah to give all smokers the resolution to end the destructive habit, and to bless the efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.