Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2007

Director-General Special awards

1. King Abdallah Ibn Abdel-Aziz Al-Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia

The two holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia were declared tobacco free by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdel-Aziz Al-Saud. Since then, tremendous efforts are being exerted by the Tobacco Control Programme, Ministry of Health and the Anti-Smoking Committee (nongovernmental organization) towards maintaining and ensuring the continuity of this initiative, particularly during Hajj (pilgrimage).

In 2002, Saudi Arabia adopted a new and radical policy approach to strengthening tobacco control through religion. As the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdallah Ibn Abdel-Aziz Al-Saud; following the steps of his late brother King Fahd (Special DG’s Award, WNTD 2006); led a pioneer role in operationalizing the FCTC through an innovative approach of addressing the tobacco prevention problem in Saudi Arabia utilizing the faith-based organization. Specifically taking advantage of the Country’s unique position in the Islamic World of being the land where the two holy cities “Mecca and Medina” exist. Also, seizing the opportunity of millions of Muslims visiting these two Cities at least twice in a lifetime.

2. His Excellency Dr A Ramadoss, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

The tobacco control movement in India witnessed rapid strides on the enforcement of rules related to “The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003" (advertising ban and regulation of trade, production, supply and distribution of tobacco) under his dynamic leadership”

The American Cancer Society selected the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India under the leadership of Dr Anbumani Ramadoss for Luther L. Terry Award in the category of exemplary leadership by a Government Ministry in recognition of its consistent excellence leadership by a Government Ministry in recognition of its consistent excellence in anti-tobacco advocacy and the award was given away at a formal ceremony during the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Washington DC on 14th July, 2006.

The tobacco control measures initiated and implemented by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare under the stewardship of Dr Anbumani Ramadoss have been widely acclaimed at the global level. The efforts made by the Ministry in designing and facilitating the enactment and enforcement of the tobacco control legislation are laudable and have set a praiseworthy precedent for other countries to follow. The Minister has also initiated the National Rural Health Mission which integrates multiple measures to improve the design and delivery of rural health services. Tobacco control, in rural populations, will be an important activity of this programme.