World Health Organization works with South African Companies to help millions quit tobacco

WHO launched a global campaign in January 2021 “Commit to Quit,” to support millions of people wanting to quit tobacco during the pandemic. Smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19.

South Africa is a focus country for the campaign, listed among the top 20 countries with the highest burden of tobacco users in the world. To help all South Africans at risk of COVID-19 WHO teamed up with Allen Carr’s Easyway to offer free online courses on quitting tobacco. The campaign has also been translated in local languages, including Xhosa, Zulu and English. All graphics are open to public use and reprint, without changes, to reach as many people as possible. 

To support even more people in their journey to quit WHO is releasing the Quit Challenge on WhatsApp, Viber and FaceBook Messenger. The Quit Challenge is a free text-based programme that gives tips and encouragement for users to quit. The programme includes motivational messaging, proven methods for quitting and links to relevant resources to help you over a 6 month period. WHO was supported in this effort by South African nonprofit, an organization dedicated to using mobile technology to improve people’s lives. 

As part of the campaign Donna, a Senior Account Manager from Cape Town, South Africa, was selected to be featured in the limited series, ‘Quitter Diaries’. The Quitter Diaries features 6 people’s real life stories from across the world in their journey to quit tobacco, released on 28 May ahead of World No Tobacco Day, 31 May. South African design Agency, Rooftop, made the videos and was selected out of several companies to support the creative visuals for the global campaign.

If you are thinking about quitting, join the campaign and pledge to quit today! Here a few quick tips to get you started: 

  • Set a quit date. Giving yourself a short period to quit will keep you focused and motivated to achieve your goal. You can start quitting today! 
  • Tell your friends, family, and coworkers. They can support you and encourage you to not give in to temptations like cravings. 
  • Anticipate challenges. It’s important that you anticipate triggers and challenges in the upcoming attempt, particularly during the critical first few weeks. 
  • Remove tobacco products from your environment. It’s important to minimize exposure to cues.

Watch the Quitter Diaries series: 

WHO Quit Challenge on WhatsApp, Viber and FaceBook Messenger Sign up for free live courses or online videos with Allen Carr’s Easyway: