Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2006

SEARO nominations

1. Mr Saifuddin Ahmed, Co-ordinator, Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA), Bangladesh

Mr Saifuddin Ahmed has been the President of BATA, an alliance of over 50 anti-tobacco NGOs in Bangladesh. He is coordinating the anti-tobacco activities of BATA for over a decade. He is known as a pioneer activist for tobacco control and has also researched in the area of tobacco control. He participated in the negotiations of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, meetings of Intergovernmental Working Group and the First Session of Conference of Parties. He has been instrumental in developing tobacco control legislation in Bangladesh.

His biggest achievement was to mobilize NGOs and other civil organizations in order to resist the call on by a ship of British American Tobacco (BAT) at a Bangladesh port purported to promote and sponsor smoking by BAT which was widely publicized in the world media. The campaign of BAT was known as “Voyage of Discovery” to entice the young generations to initiate smoking. He was able to mobilize the lawyers in Bangladesh to unveil the disguise of BAT of their promotional activities for their products.

2. Dr Rohini Premkumari, Professor of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), India

Dr. Rohini Premkumari is one of the pioneers in the area of tobacco control in the country. She not only established the first Tobacco Cessation Centre at Chennai but has been involved in continuous, well organized, highly motivated and effective anti tobacco efforts comprising of not only tobacco cessation, but also advocacy with key stakeholders and awareness generation among the masses. Her leadership has resulted in numerous awareness programmes, which have reached lakhs of people, especially adolescents and young adults. Strong tobacco control networks have been formed through sensitization of rural NGO’s and organizations such as the NSS and NCC. Training programmes and hands-on trainings have been organized and as a result, 10 tobacco cessation sub centres have been set up all over the state of TamilNadu. All these efforts have been directed to raise awareness about the fact that tobacco is deadly in all forms irrespective of whether is smoked, chewed or sniffed and to provide help to current tobacco users for quitting this deadly addiction.

Dr Rohini has been instrumental in sensitizing many celebrity film stars like Mr .Kamalhasan, on the need for tobacco control and many of them have taken up the anti-tobacco issue seriously in their respective fields. Mr. Kamalhasan volunteered and even did an anti-tobacco clipping for mass viewer ship. The anti tobacco messages have also been raised and aired on popular television channels and millions of listeners have also benefited from anti-tobacco programmes on All India Radio, and other FM radio channels under her leadership. Slides have been shown in theatres and public places. In the process, the public has been well informed as to the incursions of the tobacco menace into their personal lives. She has been advocating for better implementation of tobacco control laws with the local administration and has been giving technical inputs to them from time to time. Dr Rohini has participated in several national and international meetings on tobacco control and is an inspiration for other medical professionals to join hands in the efforts to wipe out the tobacco epidemic.

3. Her Royal Highness Somsawaree Phraworachaya Thinaddamat, Honorary President, National Tobacco Consumption Control Committee, Ministry of Public Health
  • HRH Somsawaree has the farsightedness in realizing the danger of smoking and graciously presided over the “World No Tobacco Day” events in Thailand since 1998.
  • HRH has acted as a good example for the people and the civil servants not to smoke.
  • She has the good character and to act the good examples for her daughter and royal family members in non-smoking behavior.
  • She gives advice and warns the civil servants to quit smoking cigarette all the time including the methods of smoking cessation whenever she has a chance.
  • She has the ideas given to medical officers on how to advise other people to stop smoking.
  • She has initiated the idea of non-smoking royal residences.
  • She gives the directions on non-smoking campaigns targeted at youth and women.
4. Dr Dhirendra N. Sinha, Associate Professor. Department of Surgery, SK Medical College, Muzaffarpur, India

Dr Dhirendra N Sinha has collected information on various deadly forms of tobacco used in South East Asia Region. He has provided WHO documents on SEA regional situation analysis on use of smokeless tobacco use and bidi and its implications.

On the basis of his pioneering work in the field of smokeless tobacco he was on a panel of world experts in IARC Monograph committee on Smokeless tobacco and nitrosamines in the year 2004.

He has been instrumental in providing information regarding most commonly used dentifrice in India (Laldantmanjan ) containing tobacco to the policy makers in India .

This issue created attention of global scientists and it was published in British Medical Journal and media attention too with a success story when dental care products manufacturers agreed that the samples were older one and they are going to destroy it and all newer samples will not have tobacco.

Apart from this he has been always very active in all sorts of advocacy for all deadly forms of tobacco whether at national or international level. He has been contributor in India Tobacco control report as well as in Bidi Monograph published under the joint venture of WHO, MOH India and CDC.