The Antigua and Barbuda government is among countries, organisations and individuals from six countries that will be honoured by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday, when the global community observes 2019 World No Tobacco Day.
The WHO said that the Caribbean island is 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.
WHO said that the other awardees will come from Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, the United States and Uruguay
The 2019 World No Tobacco Day award is given out annually by the WHO is aimed at recognising outstanding contributions to advancing the fight against the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.
World No Tobacco Day will be held under theme “Tobacco and lung health” and the WHO said that 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 (FCTC) 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. Hennis, Director of the Department of Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health at 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,” he added.
World No Tobacco Day was created by WHO member states in 1987 and is commemorated each year on May 31.
“The aim of the day 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. The 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,” the WHO added.