Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on COVID-19

Statement

May 31, 2020 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:

"As of Sunday, May 31, there are now 90,516 cases, including 7,092 deaths and 48,573 or 54% have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 1,663,000 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 5% of these testing positive overall. Over the past week, we have been testing an average of 22,300 people daily.

Today, on World No Tobacco Day, we are reminded that lung health remains an important consideration as the global community confronts an outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory disease.

In Canada, smoking is the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease. Smoking tobacco is also a known risk factor for many respiratory infections, including the flu. In light of the pandemic, Canadians smokers and their loved ones may be concerned whether smoking increases their susceptibility to infection or severe outcomes from COVID-19.

While we continue to learn more about the virus everyday, preliminary scientific evidence suggests a history of smoking may substantially increase the chance of adverse health outcomes for COVID-19 patients. Having an underlying health condition, such as one caused by smoking, also puts you at risk for more serious illness and even death.

World No Tobacco Day provides us with a valuable opportunity to remind everyone about the dangers of smoking. If do you smoke or vape, do not share your smoking devices with others and wash your hands before and after smoking.

While I recognize quitting is hard and may be even more difficult now that our routines have been disrupted due to COVID-19, there are many resources available that can help you to quit smoking. You can also visit the WellnessTogether.ca portal for tips on how to cope with mental health. I encourage you to make an appointment with a healthcare professional, learn more about how to quit, or call 1-866-366-3667 toll-free to speak with a quit coach. If you are a young Canadian, BreakItOff.ca provides guidance on how to break up with tobacco."

Contacts

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca


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