Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2006

EMRO nominations

1. Dr Mostafa Kamal Eldin Mohamed, Professor of Community , Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Principal Investigator, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University and Egyptian Smoking Prevention Research Institute (ESPRI), Egypt

Dr Mohamed established the Egyptian Smoking Prevention Research Institute (ESPRI) at the Ministry of Health and Population to support Egypt’s national action plan for smoking prevention and the implementation of applied research towards smoking prevention. In collaboration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA (2002–2006), smoking prevention research was implemented in nine rural villages and urban areas. He also carried out the first ever study designed to evaluate the impact of the fatwa (religious ruling prohibiting the use of tobacco in Islam) in Egypt.

An active member of the Global Tobacco Alliance since 2003, Dr Mohamed has carried out studies on passive smoking and infant health, and established a cancer registry at the Ain Shams University Hospitals.

ESPRI collected extensive studies on the use of "shisha" in Egypt and, in collaboration with WHO, are working to release a monograph on the subject during WNTD 2006.

2. Dr Wasim Maziak, Director, Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies, Syrian Arab Republic

Dr Maziak established the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies in Aleppo and created a series of scholarships aimed at supporting research related to tobacco and its various issues. In addition to carrying out the first series of studies on the use of "shisha" in both Syria and Lebanon, Dr Maziak has peer reviewed or indexed over 50 publications and articles on various topics associated with tobacco and its use.

3. Dr Abdullah Mohammed Nasser Al-Bedah, Chairman, Anti-smoking Charitable Society, Saudi Arabia

Dr Al-Bedah founded the Anti-smoking Charitable Society in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Anti-smoking Council in Amman, Jordan. Through the Society, he continues to work tirelessly to: reduce the prevalence of tobacco use among youth; ensure that cessation clinics are established, available and up-to-date (18 new clinics have been set up across Saudi Arabia, and 15 clinics have been renovated and/or upgraded); protect the rights of non-smokers against involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke; and provide training on tobacco control and related issues.

He has also implemented many tobacco control initiatives targeting specific groups, particularly youth, women, media personnel and athletes, raising awareness through workshops, seminars, public speeches, lectures and advocacy material in print and broadcast media.

Dr Al-Bedah was one of the driving forces behind the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina being declared smoke-free during 2002, and has worked to develop religion-based campaigns during the two key times of the year: Ramadan and Pilgrimage (Haj). During these two Holy occasions, advocacy material is disseminated and aired through print and broadcast media; during Haj season, in particular, material is disseminated in six different languages, to cover as many segments and nationalities as possible. He was one of the key individuals in mobilizing the Saudi government to sign and ratify the WHO FCTC, and, through the Society, is now working to establish a national committee tasked with following up on the implementation of Convention Articles.

4. Dr Bassam Al-Hijawi, Director, Ministry of Health, Jordan

Dr Al-Hijawi was instrumental in the implementation of pictoral warnings on cigarette packs in Jordan (in line with Article 11 of the WHO FCTC), including establishment of a special multi-sectoral committee to ensure that warnings are implemented as intended. This two-year process was finally implemented in 2006, making Jordan one of the first eight countries in the world to carry pictoral warnings on cigarette packs.

Dr Al-Hijawi established and trained a committee of 35 health promoters tasked with performing random market inspections to ensure that tobacco control laws are implemented. He is currently working on putting together a best practices paper as part of the Introductory Guide on the Enforcement of Tobacco Control Legislation being prepared by the WHO.

Dr Al-Hijawi worked tirelessly to update the Jordanian public health law by including an entire section on tobacco control. The law has been passed and approved by all the relevant parties and is soon to be implemented. He carried out the Global Youth Tobacco Survey in 1999 and its repeat in 2003, and is currently preparing a comparative paper on those results for release during WNTD 2006.

5. Mr Ahmed Abdel-Rahman Mohamed, Chairman, National Anti-tobacco Association, Sudan

Mr Mohamed has been working, in his personal capacity, as a tobacco control activist and since 1998, has worked through the National Anti-tobacco Association (NGO(. The primary goal of the Association is to raise awareness and provide health education to decision makers in the various cabinets, as well as to the Sudan Parliament. This work contributed effectively to the signature and ratification of the WHO FCTC in Sudan. Mr Mohamed supported numerous national tobacco control campaigns targeted at adolescents and university students, and mobilized and encouraged researchers and health professionals to focus on the hazards of tobacco consumption and intake through their work.

Over the years, he has personally led the national taskforce for the organization and implementation of WNTD.

6. Dr Ahmed Abdel Karim Al-Mulla, Consultant, Hamad Medical Center, Qatar

Dr Al-Mulla established the first cessation clinic at the Hamad Medical Center in 1999 and is currently working to set up another clinic at the North Hospital. He was the driving force behind the adoption of the anti-tobacco law by the government of Qatar in 2002, and also pushed for the establishment of a national committee tasked with following up on implementation of the law. That committee was established in 2003.

Dr Al-Mulla played a key role in mobilizing the government of Qatar towards the signature and ratification of the WHO FCTC. Qatar was the first country in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to ratify the Convention (July 2004).

He established the Arab “stop smoking” website, which houses a variety of information on tobacco control and related issues targeted at audiences in the Arab World.

Dr Al-Mulla developed, participated and implemented various campaigns, aimed mainly at youth, to raise their awareness about tobacco use, control and related issues. He continues to actively counter tobacco industry campaigns and activities targeted at youth. He also participated in the implementation of a number of tobacco control-related surveys including the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, Global Health Professionals Survey and the adult national survey.