World No Tobacco Day is marked annually on May 31 to urge people to stop chewing or smoking the substance.

This day is aimed at bringing attention to tobacco's negative health effects, which can cause cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, and strokes.

As the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, those who are habitual smokers are at great risk. The World Health Organization has been working on a campaign to support those millions of tobacco users who are actively taking steps to save their lives.

“Smokers have up to a 50% higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19, so quitting is best thing smokers can do to lower their risk from this coronavirus, as well as the risk of developing cancers, heart disease and respiratory illnesses,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said. “We urge all countries to play their part by joining the WHO campaign and creating tobacco-free environments that give people the information, support and tools they need to quit, and quit for good.”

According to the WHO, roughly 39% of men and 9% of women across the globe use tobacco. The highest smoking rates are currently found in Europe at 26%.

Here are some motivational sayings from Brainy Quote, highlighting the effects of tobacco and the benefits of quitting today:

1. “The true face of smoking is disease, death, and horror - not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray.” — David Byrne

2. “Tobacco is the only industry that produces products to make huge profits and at the same time damage the health and kill their consumers.” — Margaret Chan

3. “The culture is about moving to a place where tobacco and smoking isn't part of normal life: people don't encounter it normally, they don't see it in their big supermarkets, they don't see people smoking in public places, they don't see tobacco vending machines.” — Andrew Lansley

4. “I've chosen to get the word out to women, especially young women, that tobacco is not glamorous - it's addictive and smoking takes a serious toll on your health.” — Mena Suvari

5. “Cigars, cigarettes, and hookah tobacco are all smoked tobacco — addictive and deadly. We need effective action to protect our kids from struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine.” — Tom Frieden

6. “Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that weaken the body's immune system, making it more susceptible to disease and handicapping its ability to destroy cancer cells.” — Michael Greger

7. "Each of us should think of the future. Every puff on a cigarette is another tick closer to a time bomb of terrible consequences. Christopher Hitchens didn't care about the consequences of smoking cigarettes. Tragically, he died of throat cancer in December 2011." — Ray Comfort

8. "Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire, which transcends everything." — Napoleon Hill

9. "It takes a lot of dedication to quit smoking, and whether you give up for good on your first try or have to give it a couple of tries - just keep swinging at it and you will succeed." — Harmon Killebrew

10. Take your life back from the tobacco companies. They don’t own you anymore. – Duane Alan Hahn

11. “There is no question that tobacco is addictive and that tobacco kills.” — Dick Durbin

12. “The tobacco companies knew quite early on the addictive nature of their product.” — Neil Cavuto

The World Health Organization says that since smoking impairs lung function, smokers are likely at higher risk of developing severe cases of Covid-19
The World Health Organization says that since smoking impairs lung function, smokers are likely at higher risk of developing severe cases of Covid-19 AFP / Khalil MAZRAAWI