ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday May 29, 2019 – Antigua and Barbuda is among individuals, organizations and authorities from six countries across the Americas who will be honoured with a 2019 World No Tobacco Day award.
The World Health Organization (WHO), which awards the honours annually to recognize outstanding contributions to advancing the fight against the harmful effects of tobacco smoke, said the twin-island nation’s Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment will be awarded for becoming the third country in the region to approve, within a single comprehensive legislation, a ban on smoking in indoor public places and workplaces; mandatory graphic health warnings on tobacco products; and a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Other awardees are from Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, the United States and Uruguay.
The awards were announced yesterday ahead of World No Tobacco Day which is observed on May 31. This year it will have the theme, “Tobacco and lung health”.
The WHO said this year’s winners have all paved the way towards the advancement of policies and measures contained in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the Region of the Americas.
“Tobacco use is a huge determinant of lung health and is responsible for 65 per cent of all deaths from pulmonary cancers in the region,” said Dr Anselm Hennis, Director of the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). “This prize recognizes the vital role that organizations and individuals play in developing and supporting policies to protect the people of the Americas from the harmful impact of tobacco smoke on lung health.”
The aim of World No Tobacco Day, which was created by WHO Member States in 1987, is to raise awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
This year’s campaign will focus on highlighting the negative impact that tobacco has on lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases, and the critical importance of the lungs to health and well-being.