Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2005

Director-General Special awards

1. Dr. Ginés González García, Ministro de la Salud- Argentina (Minister of Health, Argentina)

Argentina's rates of tobacco use are among the highest in the Americas and it has a relatively small but very vocal tobacco growing sector. This reputation began to change with the arrival of a new health minister. Minister Ginés González García, a physician by training, recognized the health burden that tobacco use placed on Argentina and knew first-hand about tobacco addiction. His first tobacco control action upon being appointed was to quit smoking. Under Gonzalez’s leadership, over the past two years, Argentina has strengthened the tobacco control infrastructure within the Ministry of Health, worked with civil society to build support for tobacco control among the public, and partnered with provincial and municipal politicians to promote smoke-free environments. Although Argentina has not yet ratified the WHO FCTC, there is no question of González’s desire to do so and to move Argentina into a position of tobacco control leadership within the Americas.

2. Professor Nurul Islam- Bangladesh

Professor Islam is a renowned physician in Bangladesh. He founded the first anti-tobacco organization, called ADHUNIK ("We prevent smoking") and raised awareness against smoking across the country. As an anti-tobacco advocate, he attended numerous meetings on tobacco control. Not only he himself provided counsels to his patients to stop smoking, being the best known and renowned physician and a well respected person in the country, but also he motivated his colleagues, other health professionals to follow his examples in providing counsel to their patients to stop smoking. He and his organization also played an important role in creating awareness about the WHO FCTC and in encouraging the Government of Bangladesh to sign and ratify the Convention. Later, he actively engaged himself and his organization along with other anti-tobacco NGOs in the campaign for enactment of the Tobacco Control Legislation early this year.