Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2004

Certificates of Appreciation: Regional Office for Western Pacific Region

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

Cyclo Centre of Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Cambodia

The Cyclo Centre’s “Smoke-Free Cyclo Project” is an outstanding example of a community-based project focused on breaking the cycle between tobacco use and poverty. The Centre's smoking awareness project was established with the Cambodian National Centre for Health Promotion, and promotes smoke free behaviours, provides counselling, cessation support, as well as incentives to own their own smoke-free cyclo and enable them to promote a smoke-free life to others. The Smoke-Free Cyclos (of which there are now 46) are upgraded with safety equipment and decorated with smoke-free logos, then sold to nonsmoking drivers at a daily rate equivalent to what they would normally rent a cyclo. Revenue returned to the Centre is used to create more smoke-free cyclos. The combined financial benefits of quitting smoking and owning their own cyclo may increase daily income by up to 40%. The smoke-free cyclos have become very popular with tourists and the drivers clearly attract more customers. The smoking awareness programme has been integrated with many of the key components of poverty alleviation programme helping drivers to set-up micro-bank accounts, providing basic community based health services training that involves education and skills transfer such as cyclo, motorbike, and automobile maintenance and repair, and even customer service and managing a small business.

Government of Fiji - Office of the Prime Minister – Fiji

The Government of Fiji has emerged as a global leader in the tobacco control movement, starting with collaborative efforts in the 1990s with NGOs. The first draft tobacco legislation was formulated in partnership with the Fiji School of Medicine and partners. In 1997 a major public awareness campaign was conducted prior to the passage of the Legislation through Parliament. The campaign used young people with the theme "Winners Don't Smoke, Be Smart, Don't Start". Despite a rough passage through Parliament, Cabinet endorsed the Tobacco Control Bill in 1998. It banned sale of tobacco products to people under 18 years; established a system of health warnings, banned smoking in public places; and banned tobacco sponsorship of sports. The Government formed the Tobacco Control Action Group under the banner of the National Health Promotion Council as a high-level multisectoral body providing strategic direction. A Tobacco Control Enforcement Unit was established in 2001. In response to activities of the local tobacco industry and to inform policymakers, the Government also recently commissioned a study of the disease and financial burden of tobacco. The Fiji Government actively participated in negotiating sessions for the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, and substantively contributed to regional meetings to discuss WHO FCTC with smaller Pacific Island nations. Fiji proudly became the first developing country to ratify the Convention in October 2003.

Ministry of Health, Malaysia - Tan Sri Datu Dr Mohamad Taha Bin Arif - Director General of Health – Malaysia

The Ministry of Health (MOH), under the leadership of the Director General, Tan Sri Datu Dr Mohamad Taha Bin Arif, has made momentous progress in tobacco control over the past few years. Advancement in the area of tobacco control legislations, provision of smoking cessation services, anti-tobacco and health promotion campaigns as well as tobacco tax hikes are amongst some of its successes. The Ministry managed to move the tobacco control agenda to the highest level that is to the authority of the Malaysian Cabinet where proposals for effective policy change with regard tobacco had gained the support of the country's top executive committee members. Based on the proposal paper from the Ministry of Health, the Cabinet approved of the following actions:

  • Malaysia to be a signatory to the WHO FCTC;
  • establishment of a local WHO FCTC secretariat under the MOH;
  • ban on all forms of tobacco promotions (direct and indirect) by 2006, to be done through the amendment of the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 1993;
  • establishment of a stand alone Tobacco Control Act as soon as possible;
  • establishment of a Malaysian Health Promotion Foundation that will be sustained from an earmarked sin tax derived from tobacco and alcohol taxation; and
  • implementation of a nationwide media anti-tobacco campaign costing a total of over RM 100 million over five consecutive years.

National launch of the major anti-tobacco media campaign also known as the "TAK NAK" campaign by the Malaysian Prime Minister on February 2004 had stimulated numerous other smaller scale on-ground campaign activities involving community participation. Anti-smoking messages are reaching the Malaysian public more now then ever before. Contributions of the Ministry of Health in regional and international arena on tobacco control are also quite remarkable. Through smart partnerships with international and regional partners, MOH became effective co-host to numerous workshops and research projects on tobacco in Asia and the Western Pacific regions.

PATHCanada-Viet Nam - Ontario, Canada

PATH Canada began its activities in Viet Nam since 1995, working in the area of tobacco control, reproductive health and nutrition. Working in collaboration with many partners, including WHO, governmental, nongovernmental and mass organizations, PATHCanada-Viet Nam has made significant contribution to tobacco control efforts in Viet Nam and the Southeast Asian region in four main areas:

  • creating a national network and building capacities for tobacco control advocates in Viet Nam, promoting and facilitating active communication and information exchange in the network;
  • improving media coverage in favour of tobacco control and building capacity for local reporters;
  • pioneering research on tobacco and poverty, tobacco and development issues, including a large scale cohort study on tobacco expenditures and their opportunity cost; and
  • advancing smoke free policies through a smoke free restaurant initiative in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang City, and a project to increase compliance with the smoking ban in health facilities.

Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) – Thailand

SEATCA was formed in 2000 in reaction to the escalation of the tobacco epidemic in South East Asia with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with many government partners and other organizations. Alliance members include health professionals, researchers, and programme officers from governments and nongovernmental organizations in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. The Alliance also recently expanded to include Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and the Philippines, and includes Brunei, Myanmar, and Singapore activities. The Alliance has been a major catalyst for advances made in tobacco control in the South East Asian Region, especially with regard to policy and legislation. The Alliance has made major contribution to building and communicating the evidence-base for tobacco control through a systematic approach involving numerous seed grants to individual researchers or team, and workshops to train researchers and policymakers and communicate findings. These efforts are supported by the Alliance's clearinghouse of tobacco-related research, information and news from regional and international sources, and a system of one on-one technical assistance and mentoring with tobacco control experts.

Vietnam Standards and Consumers Association (VINASTAS) - Viet Nam

VINASTAS was principal to the kick-start for the tobacco control movement in Viet Nam in the 1990s and has continued to make significant contributions to advancing tobacco control. VINASTAS has organized numerous tobacco control workshops for its members, and has played an important role in educating Vietnamese people about smoking harms and raising public and policymakers' awareness about relevant tobacco control issues through its weekly national Consumers Magazine. It has tirelessly advocated for the WHO FCTC, and national tobacco control policies, and has been a major influence Viet Nam's strengthening of smoke free policies and tobacco advertising bans.