Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2004

Special Director-General’s awards

This year, the World Health Organization will give the Special Director-General’s award, for their leadership in Global Tobacco Control 2004, and in recognition of outstanding contribution to tobacco control, to the following people:

From the African Regional Office AMOSAPU (Associação Moçambicana de Saúde Pública) - Mozambique

AMOSAPO raised the level of public awareness on tobacco health hazards and on the economic and environmental damage that tobacco growing and use cause in the country, aggravating poverty in the communities.

Advised by AMOSAPU, the Mozambican government took a positive decision by deciding to participate actively in the INB sessions to defend a strong and meaningful treaty on tobacco control. The Mozambican government immediately signed the WHO FCTC on June 18, 2003. The organization has helped to the removal of most billboards advertising tobacco products, targeted to children and the young.

The Ministry of Health, after implementing a tobacco-free policy in its institutions, has sent a circular letter to other Ministries to restrict tobacco use in offices.

The Mozambican Parliament is currently preparing to ratify WHO FCTC. For that end, a workshop was conducted on April 27, 2004 involving almost 50 parliamentarians who will study in depth the WHO FCTC in order to be able to defend it at the plenary session when it comes to discuss its ratification. The Workshop is organized by AMOSAPU with the financial assistance of WHO AFRO Region and the Canadian Government.

From the European Regional Office Mr. Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children, Ireland

Since his appointment as Ireland’s Minister for Health and Children in January 2000, Micheál Martin has been consistent in his commitment to the fight against tobacco and has made a remarkable contribution to tobacco control. He has made the reduction of smoking prevalence one of his top priorities and has demonstrated political courage in relation to the tobacco issue. He has pushed the Irish Government’s “Towards a Tobacco Free Society” policy with vigour adopting a comprehensive tobacco control programme which mirrors WHO recommendations. On 31 May 2002 World No Tobacco Day, he established the independent Office of Tobacco Control on a statutory basis to promote a tobacco free society and build capacity for tobacco control measures. Recognizing that tough tobacco control legislation is essential and effective in reducing the numbers of people smoking, in particular children, he has built on previous legislation by banning advertising, raising the legal age for sales to 18 years and presided over the enactment of wide-ranging tobacco control legislation by the Irish parliament. Under his stewardship, tobacco control activities have attracted additional funding and resources for compliance building measures and substantial investment has been made in health promotion activities with sustained information campaigns. On 29 March 2004, Ireland became the first European country to implement legislation creating smoke-free enclosed workplaces, including bars and restaurants. This ground-breaking measure demonstrates Minister Martin’s strong leadership and steadfastness in putting public health to the fore. In addition to the significant measures at a national level (Ireland’s smoking prevalence has dropped by more than 4% since he took office), he has ensured that Ireland played a strong, positive, constructive and supportive role in the development of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.