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WHO Director Rüdiger Krech on smoking: "A pack of cigarettes should cost 23 euros"

2021-01-25T00:16:35.589Z

Rüdiger Krech is Director of Health Promotion at the World Health Organization. Here he talks about how he wants to help smokers get rid of nicotine.



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"We know that of the around 13 million German smokers, around seven million want to quit"

Photo: Gerard Bottino / imago images / ZUMA Wire

SPIEGEL:

Mr. Krech, cigarettes killed over eight million people in 2020, four times more than the coronavirus.

Why are governments so idle about this mass extinction?

Krech:

This is partly due to the tobacco industry, which is doing everything through its lobbying work to ensure that the number of its victims is not so perceived by the population and in politics.

In our estimation, however, people are rethinking: smokers are more likely to develop Covid-19 and have a higher risk of death.

This confuses a lot of people.

We want to help them as WHO.

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WHO Director Rüdiger Krech, 56

Photo: WHO

SPIEGEL:

How specifically?

Krech:

We have now started a global campaign: “Commit to quit” will last a year, and Germany will be one of our focus countries, alongside other states with many smokers such as China, India, Brazil and Turkey.

We know that of the around 13 million German smokers, around seven million want to quit, but cannot.

Worldwide, 780 million people now want to stop their addiction.

We want to reach them, for example via social media.

"Florence" is currently under development and will help us with that.

She is a virtual assistant on the Internet who uses artificial intelligence to inform smokers and show them how to get rid of nicotine.

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Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-01-25

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