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WHO declares loneliness a ‘global public health concern’

The World Health Organization has launched an international commission on loneliness, which can be as bad for people’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared loneliness to be a pressing global health threat, with the US surgeon general saying that its mortality effects are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

WHO has launched an international commision on the problem – led by the US surgeon general, Dr Vivek Murthy, and the African Union youth envoy, Chido Mpemba – of 11 advocates and government ministers, including Ralph Regenvanu, the minister of climate change adaptation in Vanuatu, and Ayuko Kato, the minister in charge of measures for loneliness and isolation in Japan.

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