Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2005

EURO nominations

1. Tobacco Control Resource Centre of the British Medical Association, United Kingdom

TCRC has pioneered international medical collaborations for tobacco control. Since it was established in 1997, the TCRC has produced a range of expert materials and initiatives to support national medical associations in their efforts to inform their members, help patients and promote effective policies on tobacco. TCRC has also supported individual doctors, international associations, other health professionals and NGOs in their work against the tobacco epidemic.

TCRC’s work is particularly relevant to this year’s World No Tobacco Day theme, of Health Professionals and Tobacco Control. A World No Tobacco Day award would be a fitting acknowledgement of this project’s achievements, and its longstanding support for WHO policies and action in tobacco control. It would also allow us to pay tribute to the British Medical Association for its ongoing support of international action against tobacco by the medical profession.

TCRC activities highlight the key roles of doctors: as role models, as clinicians, as educators and as advocates for policy change. The evidence shows that doctors, and our health professional colleagues, have a leading role in educating our patients and our governments about tobacco. TCRC is invaluable in supporting us to do this vital work.

TCRC’s activity programme covers all aspects of tobacco control. They include:

  • scientific publications, from expert reports to journal articles, reviewing the evidence about the health impacts of tobacco and the need for urgent action on tobacco control
  • a range of educational materials and policy documents
  • publication and distribution of the tobacco control manual for doctors, Doctors and Tobacco, and related materials
  • training and capacity building activities for doctors on tobacco control. These include a recent expert seminar in Edinburgh, featuring experts on tobacco control and including sessions including tobacco and health, tobacco dependence treatment, tobacco control policies, how doctors can make a difference, and the place of tobacco in medical education at all levels.
  • coordinating the medical profession’s support for a robust, evidence-based WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its effective implementation. TCRC coordinated the production of the highly influential Tobacco Under the Microscope: A doctors’ manifesto for tobacco control. This document was endorsed by international and national medical associations representing millions of doctors worldwide, and played a key role in the negotiations for the development of the WHO FCTC.
  • ongoing work to support national and international medical associations in campaigning for effective tobacco control policies. Issues have included: effective price policies on tobacco, smoke-free public places and workplaces, comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, and the implications of tobacco trade liberalisation for health.
  • surveys to monitor tobacco-use among doctors and compare these rates between countries

All of this work has helped to support action within the medical profession for more effective tobacco control policies, and much of it has been translated into a number of languages to maximise its international impact.

2. Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg- France

Professor Dautzenberg has contributed extraordinarily to Tobacco Control in France, and also in Europe. He is the chair of the Office Français de prévention du Tabagisme (OFT), Paris Sans Tabac (PST), the “Alliance contre le tabac d’Ìle de France (ACTIF), and the anti-smoking committee of the Paris Hospital Network (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris). He is also a member of the European Network of Smoking Prevention (ENSP) and is the coordinator of the European Network of smoke-free hospitals (ENSH). He is the author of five books on Tobacco Control and has written the report for the French Health Minister on ETS.

Professor Dautzenberg teaches Thoracic Medicine at Pitié-Salpetrière hospital in Paris. In his clinical work, he has extensive experience in the treatment of tobacco-related diseases like lung cancer treatment, network for treatment of COPD, treatment of tuberculosis.

3. Professor Dr med Dr h.c. Dipl.-Chem. Friedrich Portheine - Germany

Prof. Dr. Portheine is a German pioneer in tobacco control with remarkable contributions to civil society.

Dr. Portheine has been one of the first German scientists in the area of air pollution and - as first scientist in Germany - combined the problem of air pollution with ETS. At the National Academy of Medicine in Düsseldorf his lectures on “Basics on Air Pollution Prevention” were famous because of his position on ETS and his attacks against the tobacco industry. As one of the first German scientists he realized that the tobacco industry is the cause of millions of deaths due to smoking.

As one of the first advocates on tobacco control he founded the “German Medical Action Group Smoking and Health” in 1969, the first ever founded Medical Non-governmental Organization on Tobacco Control in Germany. From 1969 until today he is contributing to that growing group of German doctors.

During the last 40 years he had to suffer on enormous attacks by the tobacco lobby and was taken to court by British American Tobacco because of his initiative to create a poster campaign with the skeleton of Van Gogh adding a cigarette on the mouth of the skeleton and the signature “I like smoking”. This poster campaign was the first campaign by German doctors.

One of Dr. Portheine’s important successes was the promotion of non-smoking flights by Lufthansa in the 1990ies. Lufthansa agreed to make all flights non-smoking after a seminar conducted by Prof. Dr. Portheine about the effects of “second-hand smoke on airplanes” at Frankfurt Airport.

In the past 40 years Prof. Dr. Portheine worked tireless as a tobacco control advocate, spending enormous private resources on a slowly developing movement. After his retirement he founded the “Goethe Challenge Trophy”, an award that is presented every year to institutions, universities and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to ensuring a smoke-free environment. Following various universities in Mexico, the USA, China and Australia, as well as the American Medical Association, the Goethe Challenge Trophy was awarded to the International Olympic Committee, to former EU Health Commissioner David Byrne and to Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Director General of WHO. The silver statue of Goethe is currently placed at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

4. Akanov Aikan, Ministyr of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Professor Aikan Akanov is the founding chairman of the centre for healthy lifestyles, which can be seen as a model development for CIS countries. He is a cardiologist and researcher by education and the project director of CINDI-Kazakhstan.

Prof. Akanov is an undoubted leader on tobacco control in Kazakhstan. He had an active role in the development of many important tobacco control documents:

  • The Kazakhstan anti-tobacco Law "About prevention and restriction of tobacco smoking" has been developed and accepted in 2002 by his initiative. This Law is a strong legislation not only in the Central Asian region but also in the whole CIS. The Kazakhstan Law includes some components of the WHO FCTC;
  • Promotion of the Law among the public as well as involvement of the population in the implementation of the law;
  • Development and promotion of the national action plan on tobacco control;
  • As participant of the WHO meeting “Health Professionals and Tobacco Control” in 2004, Prof. Akanov promoted the active role of Health Professionals on Tobacco Control, to promote tobacco smoke-free policies in hospitals and smoke-free lifestyle of the health personnel, and to encourage preventive tobacco control measures on a primary care level;
  • Organization of a series of round table discussions in the country in 2003-2004. One result of them was the signing of the WHO FCTC in June 2004;
  • Developing a network of tobacco control centres in the primary care setting;
  • Facilitation of a national survey on prevalence and economic aspects of tobacco use;
  • President of the National Coalition “Smokefree Kazakhstan” which was founded in October 2004.
5. Dr.Tomas Stanikas, Lithuanian Non-smokers Association- Lithuania

Dr Tomas Stanikas is a medical doctor who for the last decades was a key figure and driving force in Lithuanian tobacco control. The first version of Lithuanian Tobacco control Law was prepared by him. He has been a very active fighter for non-smokers rights in Lithuania. Under his initiative the walking street “Laisves aleja” in Kaunas was announced smoke-free. Dr Tomas Stanikas brought to Lithuania the idea of “Quit and win” and was the first coordinator of this competition in Lithuania.

For decades, Dr Tomas Stanikas has been teaching students in Kaunas University of Medicine Dept. of Preventive Medicine about tobacco control and smoking cessation. He also was an active coordinator and lecturer of smoking cessation training seminars for public health specialists and medical doctors. Dr Tomas Stanikas was the WHO counterpart for tobacco control and was very active in the WHO FCTC negotiation process. He is a member of FCA and the Lithuanian National Tobacco Control Coalition.

6. Rudolf Zajac, M.D., Minister of Health of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia

Minister Zajac, as member of the Slovak Government, made strong effort in the processes of signing and ratifying the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Thus Slovakia became the seventh country in the world to ratify the WHO FCTC in May 2004, followed by adoption of the new tobacco control law.

Minister Zajac with his co-workers from the MoH and Public Health Authority together with many governmental and NGOs had drafted a new Act on protection of non-smokers, which was adopted by the Parliament in May 2004. By gradually adopting legal standards in the areas tobacco control, but mainly by having adopted the comprehensive law on the protection of non-smokers, the Slovak Republic has become in this respect one of the leading countries in Tobacco Control in Central and Eastern Europe.

Minister Zajac as health minister and leader of health care transformation in Slovakia became non-smoker soon after taking over the position of minister despite the fact that he had been a heavy smoker. He is a good example not only for all health professionals but also for the general population in Slovakia.