Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2004

Certificates of Appreciation: Regional Office for South-East Asia

The World Health Organization will also give Certificates of Appreciation, in recognition of outstanding contribution to tobacco control to the following:

ADK Hospital – Maldives

Since its inception in 1998, the ADK Hospital has been involved in anti-tobacco campaign. Its cessation clinic and the “Quit Smoking Award” have been very popular in Maldives and people from almost all islands in Maldives are participating in the contest. The hospital has also indoor activities against tobacco use. The patients coming there for treatment are informed about the dangerous effects of tobacco use. The personnel and management both medical and non-medical, of the hospital are committed to the tobacco cause. The hospital is an example of a successful institute for spreading the anti-tobacco campaign this island country.

Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain - Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh

Under the able leadership and initiative of Dr Hossain, Bangladesh signed the WHO FCTC and became one of the first member countries to sign the WHO FCTC. He created mass awareness movement against tobacco. To effectively argue against the tobacco industry, under his keen supervision, a health costs study on tobacco is currently being undertaken in Bangladesh. Also, at his initiative, the study on tobacco control and poverty is currently underway in Bangladesh. The findings of this study will be used to celebrate the WNTD 2004. As Health Minister of the country, Dr Hossain took every initiative to place WHO FCTC to the Cabinet for ratification. He also prepared Tobacco Control Law, which is also under active consideration of the Cabinet. It is expected that the ratification of WHO FCTC and Tobacco Control Law will be approved by the Cabinet before the 57th World Health Assembly.

Through the consistent endeavour of Dr Hossain, the government declared some government offices like the President's Office, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, hospitals and different health institutions as nonsmoking areas. Dr Hossain is now considered as pioneer for anti tobacco movement in the country.

As Health Minister of Bangladesh as well as President of the 56th World Health Assembly, he has nominated the National Focal Point on Tobacco Control Programme in Bangladesh from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and selected focal points from 15 concerned Ministries of the government to coordinate the tobacco control programme. Advertising in government-sponsored mass media has been prohibited and a tobacco control cell has been established in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Under the dynamic leadership of Dr Hossain, tobacco control biennium (2004 2005) programme of WHO/GOB collaboration has been undertaken to strengthen the capacity building of NGOs/civil societies.

Dr Kyaw Myint - Minister, Ministry of Health- Myanmar

Born in 1940, Dr Myint was graduated in Medicine in 1963. He subsequently did FRCS and doctorate in Medicine. He last served as Rector, Institute of Medicine from 1997 to 1998 and as Director-General, Department of Medical Sciences from 1997 to July 2000. He was appointed as Deputy Minister for Health, Ministry of Health in July 2000 and served in that capacity until 2003. Since February 2003, he is Cabinet Minister for Health, Ministry of Health.

Dr Myint played an active role in WHO FCTC negotiations. Following the adoption of the WHO FCTC by the 56t---h WHA in May 2003, he has worked hard for signing and ratification of WHO FCTC by Myanmar and finally Myanmar has ratified the WHO FCTC in April 2004.

Dr Myint has also been taking interest in devising effective tobacco control policies and measures in Myanmar. Under his direct supervision and leadership, Tobacco Control Cell has been established and the National Action Plan for Tobacco Control was finalized. The Action Plan is now being implemented in Myanmar. He has also actively pursued developing a comprehensive anti- tobacco national legislation in line with the provisions of the WHO FCTC which is now under consideration of the Cabinet for approval. Dr Myint was also instrumental in undertaking a number of researches in the area of tobacco control in Myanmar. These include studies in the areas like Comprehensive Tobacco Control, Economics of Tobacco Control, Women and Tobacco, etc. In order to commemorate this years World No Tobacco Day theme –

“Tobacco Control and Poverty”, Dr Myint specifically took interest to undertake a study on “Tobacco Control and Poverty” in Myanmar. The findings of this study will be finalized in the first week of May 2004 and the same will be released on the World No Tobacco Day 2004 at a national seminar. Dr Myint is committed to devise appropriate tobacco control interventions in the area of tobacco control and poverty based on the findings of the study. Dr Myint has been a great proponent of tobacco control in South-East Asia Region and a source of inspiration for thousands of anti tobacco activists across the Region.

Mr. Vivek Oberoi - Actor – Bollywood - Mumbai – India

Mr. Vivek Oberoi is a nonsmoker. After hearing about the magnitude of the damage that tobacco use can cause, he decided to join the tobacco control campaign. He started by agreeing to prepare a youth focused anti tobacco campaign and appealed to the public from picking up the habit. He not only volunteered to do the anti smoking film totally free of cost, also wrote to other top film stars to do the same. He also managed to get top production and advertising persons to offer free services in producing the spots for the campaign. The results were three anti-tobacco spots of 45 seconds each. They were aired in different TV channels and 50 theatres since World No Tobacco Day 2003. Mr. Oberoi publicly offered to be an ambassador for tobacco control.

Mr. Oberoi also decided to work at the grass-root level and started interacting with children at observation homes. He told the children about the ill effects of tobacco, in addition to discussing their other concerns. He is also actively involved in anti-cancer campaign, spending time with these patients and their family members in hospitals and other treatment facilities and telling them all about how tobacco can cause cancer and why people need to stop smoking and other forms of tobacco use.

He is also working for tobacco control along with an organization called “Cancer Patients Aid Association” for over the past two years. He wants to promote tobacco control and reach out to as many people as possible by creating further awareness not only talking about the down sides of the tobacco but also talking to people about their entitlements under the new tobacco control law in India. He talks to every kid on the street asking them to report the tobacco vendors who sell tobacco to those below 18 years. To educate the poor about the damage caused to their health and hard earned money and quality of life.

Mr. Oberoi is the most effective young face of India for anti-tobacco campaign. His nonsmoking style and fashion is being imitated by millions of youth of the country.

Dr Charal Trinvuthipong - Director-General, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand

His contribution to Tobacco Control and Poverty: Dr Charal in his present capacity as the Director-General of the Department of Disease Control has paid special attention to diseases associated with smoking and designated the policy of tobacco consumption control as the urgent policy that needs successful implementation apart from other policies. He has carried out the following projects:

Amendment of Laws

Following laws have been amended to correspond with the present situation:

Public Health Ministerial Law of Health Warnings on Packages supporting changes of health warnings from letters to four-colour pictures and extension of warning area to be no less than 50% of the package.

Public Health Ministerial Law of Public Places as No-Smoking Zones defining more public places to be no-smoking areas.

Public Health Ministerial Law of Legitimate Authorities for the Two Tobacco Acts increasing the number of authorities for the two Acts. Law Enforcement: the enforcement is focused on prohibition of selling cigarettes to children aged under 18 years old, monitoring and inspection of public places to be no-smoking zones, inspection and arrest of the law violations, and defining vicinity in the Department of Disease Control as a tobacco free area. Support of Network: Apart from public sector, convincing the private sector of laws by meeting various types of entrepreneurs such as associations of different businesses, associations of restaurants to make them understand the laws and comply with the same, liaising and setting up of allies among mass media group for surveillance of law violation of the business group, driving to have no-smoking allies emerged in the public and private sectors through the National Committee of Tobacco Consumption Control.

Advocating Thailand to be a Member of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC): Thailand has adopted the FCTC and is on the process of ratification and approval from the Cabinet which is the final process.

Support of Activities to Create Awareness: by organizing activities on World No-Tobacco Day, using media like TVs, radios, publications and disseminating knowledge of harm, poison and danger of tobacco as well as giving tobacco cessation counseling to people.

Veneral Dhammajayo Bhikkhu – Thailand

Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikkhu was awarded the honorary doctorate degree in Buddhist Studies from Maha Chulalongkorn Raja Vidhyalai University, Bangkok (under H.M. the King’s patronage) in 1994. He was promoted to the primary Royal Monastic Order with a title of Phra Sudharmayanathera by H.M. the King of Thailand in 1991 and later promoted to the higher Royal Monastic Order with a title of Phra Rajabhavanavisudh by H.M. the King of Thailand in 1996.

Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikku’s Smoke-Free Campaign:

  • Raising awareness: As a leader of a large and successful organization, he never smokes nor consumes any kind of addictive substances, thus, proving to be a role model of people who wish to be able to control their mind, speech and action. He educated the staff members of the Dhammakaya temple and general public at large, on the damaging effects of smoking.
  • Building attitude: Besides raising awareness, Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikkhu initiated a policy and plans to build the right attitude towards smoking by prohibiting smoking on temple premises, cultivating smoke free attitude to monks and organizing moral training courses to monks, novices and other lay people etc. He also conducted training courses for youth and general public about quitting smoking.
  • Organizing Campaigning events: Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikkhu motivated both non-smokers and former smokers to make campaigns for non-smoking, under the name “Cigarette Burning Campaign”. This campaign was organized in temples, educational institutes, women networks, business sectors etc. and was a huge success.
  • Evaluation: After implementing the first three steps, namely, raising awareness, building attitude and organizing campaigning events, evaluation of the effectiveness of the campaigning strategies was then made. This activity included honoring those who quitted smoking, stimulating and encouraging more groups of people to organize and film the activities etc.