Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2005

WPRO nominations

1. Dr Lim Thai Pheang, Director of National Centre for Health Promotion (NCHP), Ministry of Health- Cambodia

Dr Lim Thai Pheang has been an enduring and visionary advocate and change agent for tobacco control in Cambodia. His is a country where other acute public health issues have taken precedence and where the tobacco industry has long taken full advantage of an easy, unregulated market and accommodating government. Despite the widespread lack of recognition for the importance of tobacco control and very few resources for any health promotion activities, Dr Pheang started in the mid 1990s to call for smoke free policies, advertising bans and improved public awareness of the harms of tobacco use. He established a Tobacco or Health Unit in the NCHP with three staff in 1999 and began work towards smoke free health services and public awareness campaigns.

2. Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (DMHSA), Guam- United States of America

Guam has the highest adult smoking rate among all US States and Territories, and one of the highest among the Western Pacific region. In-line with one of the Governor of Guam’s health priorities, prevention, the DMHSA provides the leadership on Guam for a comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco control strategy, which includes: technical assistance to policy development (such as Guam’s proposed smoke-free public places law); capacity building for and provision of cessation services (currently, it is the only provider of cessation services for the island’s civilian population); social marketing to promote tobacco-free lifestyles through media and educational campaigns; support for community-based interventions (through the Governor’s PEACE project for substance abuse prevention and the Youth for Youth Organization) and coalition building (in partnership with the American Cancer Society); and research and evaluation of existing interventions to determine effective approaches for Guam.

DMHSA also oversees the annual tobacco vendors’ compliance inspections, together with the Department of Revenue and Taxation. The Department has committed its entire Master Settlement Agreement allocation for tobacco prevention and control, and has supplemented this effort with additional resources and personnel. Through commitment and innovation, it is initiating change by promoting tobacco-free choices and engaging the larger health community in assisting Guam residents to give up tobacco and to embrace healthier lifestyles.

3. Dr Sallehudin Bin Abu Bakar, Deputy Director, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Health Department- Malaysia

This officer is a known figure and one of the experts in the field of tobacco related issues especially the area of Smoking Cessation Services in Malaysia. He is the pioneer for setting up the Smoking Cessation Programme in Malaysia in 1999 and is responsible in initiating and establishing the chain of about 200 Quit Smoking Clinics in the Ministry of Health facilities throughout the country. He also contributed significantly in the production of the Clinical Practice Guidelines: Handbook On Treatment of Tobacco Smoking and Dependence 2003 that is used by health professionals in Malaysia. His contribution in the training of various categories of health professionals conducted by Ministry of Health and other professionals in NGOs is also a known fact.

4. Dr Jae-Gahb Park, President, National Cancer Center- Republic of Korea

Dr Park is the most widely known and respected anti-smoking advocate in Korea. As the President of the National Cancer Center of Korea, Dr Park enacted a strict no-smoking policy and as a condition of employment, every employee has signed an agreement not to smoke. The National Cancer Center is a completely non-smoking facility. In May 2000, 55% of the male employees smoked. By December 2002, all employees had quit smoking.

Dr Jae-Gahb Park has also worked with television stations and newspaper companies, national labor unions, and congress to protect people from the deadly effects of tobacco products. He has been successful in that since 2002, television stations prohibited airing scenes that include smoking and in 2003, 12 newspapers stopped printing pictures of people smoking. At Dr Park's urging, leaders of two national labor unions have agreed to support a smoke-free workplace and began their no-smoking campaigns. The National Assembly Building was designated to be non-smoking at the urging of Dr Park.

5. Ministry of Railway- China

In 1985, the Chinese Ministry of Railway initiated Non-Smoking Carriage and Smoking Free Station campaigns on passenger trains and in waiting rooms at railway stations throughout the country. For 20 years now, these efforts have brought about significant results, backed up by various regulations. According to statistics, more than 500 railway stations have become smoking free stations throughout China and a total of 800 passenger trains have been made non-smoking carriages. Air quality in non-smoking carriages and waiting rooms has improved and the passengers have expressed their praise and support for the efforts and improvements. Foreign news media paid attention to the Chinese railway system and commended achievements in controlling and banning smoking.