Washington DC, May 24, 2020 (OPS) – The World No Tobacco Day 2021 in the Americas awards have been presented to three Costa Rican institutions, the Ministries of Health of Saint Lucia and Paraguay, the Uruguayan National Resource Fund , two California cities and a Brazilian doctor.
The winners, selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) from nominations received in response to a public call, have made significant progress in tobacco control in their countries. The awards are part of global tobacco control efforts recognized annually on World No Tobacco Day.
A joint prize was awarded to the institutional team mSalud of Costa Rica, which includes three institutions constituted by the Ministry of Health, the Social Security Fund of Costa Rica and the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction. The mSalud team received the award for their role in expanding smoking cessation services through the development of online tools.
The National Resource Fund of Uruguay received the award for its role in the National Network of Smoking Cessation Units. The Network grew out of the Tobacco Treatment Program, which the Resource Fund established in 2004. The Resource Fund is now responsible for the coordination, evaluation and support of the Network, which has played a key role in the development of the Network. Improved access to tobacco control services across the country. country.
The prize was awarded to Dr Tania Cavalcante, oncologist at the National Cancer Institute of Brazil and Executive Secretary of the National Committee for the Implementation of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control in Brazil. She received it for her lifelong contribution to an effective tobacco control policy in Brazil and for her work to impact globally on the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC ). Dr Cavalcante has also contributed to facilitating the exchange of experiences between countries in the field of tobacco control in Latin America and between Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare of Saint Lucia received the award for its role in the adoption in June 2020 of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations, Statutory Instrument, 2020, No 81. The regulations establishes a ban on smoking in closed public and work places and on public transport. The regulation covers electronic cigarettes and the ban on the sale of tobacco products in places such as health, sports, government, childcare, educational and religious establishments. With this adoption, Saint Lucia became the eighth country in the Caribbean and the 22nd in the Americas to adopt regulations compliant with Article 8 of the FCTC, which states that people should be protected from tobacco smoke in public places. interiors, indoor workplaces, and public transport.
Paraguay’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare received the award for its role in Decree No. 4624, which stipulates that cigarettes, heated tobacco products or electronic cigarettes may only be consumed in spaces outdoors without crowds. With the decree, Paraguay joins the rest of the South American countries in following article 8 of the FCTC to create a smoke-free region.
The California cities of Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach shared the prize for their ban on the sale of tobacco products. Their actions serve as a proof of concept for Project Sunset, a global effort to phase out the sale of combustible commercial tobacco products, including alternative nicotine delivery systems. California has since set a goal of eliminating smoking by 2035. With this initiative, Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach are going beyond established measures to mitigate and reduce tobacco consumption.
World No Tobacco Day was established by WHO Member States in 1987 and is commemorated annually on May 31 to raise awareness of the harmful effects of smoking and secondhand smoke and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. it would be. Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year.
The awards are given for achievements in advancing FCTC policies and measures in the Americas region.