2013 World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) awards

The World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) awards are given by WHO every year to carefully selected individuals and/or organizations in recognition for their accomplishments in tobacco control.

The awards recognize international achievements in the fight against the global tobacco epidemic and in the promotion of tobacco control initiatives and policies. They are awarded to individuals and institutions selected for long-term commitment and outstanding contribution in research, advocacy, health promotion, capacity building and other activities that promote and enforce tobacco control. The following individuals and organizations have been selected for the World No Tobacco Day Award in 2013:

United Kingdom

Mr Stephen Williams, Member of Parliament

Rationale for nomination for the award:

Mr Stephen Williams, MP, has played a crucial role in tobacco control in the UK and has been a leading figure in the campaign for plain, standardised packaging. As chair of the All-Party Group on Smoking and Health, he has been the leading voice in Parliament to reduce the burden of tobacco in the UK, addressing some of the wider problems in part by leading enquiries into associated issues such as illicit tobacco trade.

His outstanding work helped to build support for tobacco control across all parties in Parliament and in particular he worked hard to protect the display legislation when it was threatened with repeal.

He has written articles about tobacco control on his website, promoted the cause extensively via social media, and argued in favour of standard packs in a dialogue piece in the parliamentary ‘House Magazine’ against an MP who actively opposes the measure. In March 2012, he hosted an expert briefing for Cancer Research UK, on why colleagues need to be informed about plain, standard packs; alongside eminent tobacco control experts from leading institutions.

Nominated by number of prominent health organizations in the United Kingdom

Hungary

Dr Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary

Rationale for nomination for the award:

In 2012, Hungary made outstanding progress in tobacco control, with the entry into force of ban on smoking in all public places. Despite the fact that Hungary ratified WHO FCTC in 2004, several attempts to comply with the Treaty have failed, partly due to strong tobacco industry interference in all sectors. Dr Viktor Orban as Prime Minister of Hungary played a key role in breaking this vicious circle and ensured that tobacco control is a priority issue for the Government’s agenda. Due to Dr Orban’s personal involvement and strong support to the Ministry of Human Resources efforts in amending the existing legislation to comply with WHO FCTC, followed by an intensive debate, the Parliament adopted the amendment of the Act on the Protection of Non-Smokers in April 2011. Dr Orban continues actively to support Ministry of Health efforts in enforcing and monitoring this new law, by ensuring financial support to various surveys such as adult and youth health surveys. In addition, over the past eighteen months he strongly supported an important increase of the excise tax on tobacco products as well as the regulation of the sale and distribution of tobacco products and introduction of pictorial warnings on tobacco products.

Nominated by WHO Country Office in Hungary.

Ukraine

Mrs Tetiana BAKHTEEVA, Member of Parliament

Rationale for nomination for WNTD award:

For Ukraine 2012 was a year of a real breakthrough in adopting and implementing strong tobacco control policies. A comprehensive tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship bill and a strong smoke-free bill were voted in Ukrainian Parliament. Both legal acts went into force in 2012 and the compliance levels are high. Tetiana Bakhteeva, MP, was the key political supporter and an initiator of a comprehensive smoke free law that bans smoking in all indoor public places including cafes, bars and restaurants. Mrs Bakhteeva is the head of the parliament committee of healthcare, responsible for all health related legislation, including tobacco control. Mrs Bakhteeva has always been a strongly committed health advocate - working actively with other committee members from different political parties to ensure support for the draft law prior to the first and the second hearing in the Parliament. MP Bakhteeva actively cooperated with leading tobacco control organizations by inviting them to the committee meetings and to expert discussion of the draft bill. During the second reading, the bill earned the constitutional majority of voices - 368 votes out of 450. On June 13, 2012 the President of Ukraine signed the law and since December 2012, Ukraine is completely smoke free: all public places and indoor working areas including hospitality industry are 100% protected from negative effects of tobacco smoke. The bill was named the second most “revolutionary” in Ukraine in 2012 and set an example for neighbouring countries to follow the same pattern.

Nominated by Regional Advocacy Center Life

Ukraine

Mrs Lesia Orobets, Member of Parliament

Rationale for nomination for WNTD award:

Lesia Orobets is an outstanding tobacco control advocate and passionate supporter of public health issues in the Ukrainian Parliament. In 2009 she became a co-author of a draft law on a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS). Since that time Mrs Orobets started her own struggle for a complete ban of all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion. Mrs Orobets participated in numerous press conferences, public events and expert group meetings during two-and-a-half years of unprecedented campaigning. After the first reading in the Parliament, the tobacco industry started a discrimination campaign in media trying to blame MP Orobets for cooperation with “foreign agencies” and working for a “pharma lobby”. Mrs Orobets actively and openly continued to cooperate with leading tobacco control organizations during that campaign. She worked with her political party to vote for TAPS in the second reading and finally the Parliament supported the strong text of TAPS law by the constitutional majority. On 13 March 2012 the President of Ukraine signed the text of a strong TAPS law. Mrs Lesia Orobets was a crucial driving force in that process. Since 16 September 2012 all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion are banned - Ukraine changed into tobacco advertising free country, being 100% compliant with Article 13 of WHO FCTC.

Nominated by Regional Advocacy Center Life

United Kingdom

Amanda Amos, Professor of Health Promotion, University of Edinburgh

Rationale for nomination for WNTD award:

For over 20 years, Amanda Amos has been recognised as an outstanding tobacco control scientist and advocate in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Amanda Amos’ research interests cover a broad range of smoking issues at the individual, community and societal levels. She has a continuing interest in young people’s attraction to smoking – how they take it up, where they get cigarettes, their dependence and cessation as well as their perceptions of smoking drawn from the media, and elsewhere. Ms Amos has played a key role in the evaluation of the tobacco control measures introduced in the UK in recent years, particularly the evaluation programme in Scotland. She has a continuing interest in smoking and disadvantage, ethnicity and, especially, gender.

Much of her work has focused on images promoting smoking through tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS), particularly in magazines targeting women and girls. A 1985 British Medical Association report written by Amanda Amos and Bobbie Jacobson, When Smoke Gets in your Eyes, brought the whole issue of cigarette advertising policy and coverage of smoking and health in women’s magazines to wide attention. Further research, published in The Lancet in 1991 showed that the regulations were insufficient, and a further tightening of the rules followed in the United Kingdom. Such research contributed to the gradual chipping away of the arguments that endorsed tobacco use through advertising. Amanda Amos continued to research and lecture on the images that were being used to promote smoking to females in Europe, both through paid advertising as well as editorial images. Following the bans on tobacco advertising in the UK and much of Europe, she has also turned her attention to cigarette packs and how they are used to promote an image of empowerment and femininity.

Nominated by Tobaksfakta, Sweden

Switzerland

Pascal A. Diethelm, President, OxyRomandie

Rationale for nomination for WNTD award:

Pascal Diethelm is the president of OxyRomandie, a Swiss association working in the fight against smoking; a founding member of the Framework Convention Alliance, a worldwide federation of associations to oversee the implementation of the WHO FCTC; and vice-president of the National Committee against tobacco, a French association dedicated to tobacco control. Pascal Diethelm has worked tirelessly to unveil the truth about the tobacco industry, consistently contributing to the global “watch-dog” activities monitoring the many promotion and sponsorship tactics and strategies employed by the tobacco industry to mislead the public, interfere with the tobacco control polices, in particular in relation to corporate social responsibility. Public associations of some of the Red Cross national societies associated with the tobacco industry were unveiled by Pascal Diethelm, flagging the effect of undermining the implementation of the WHO FCTC, Article 5.3. Pascal Diethelm has also been one of the civil society leaders who openly protested against a recent partnership between the International Museum of the Red Cross/Red Crescent in Geneva with the JTI Foundation Association. These protests of international/local advocacy organizations resulted in the announcement of Red Cross Museum in returning the donation to the respective tobacco company.

Nominated by the European Network for Smoking and tobacco prevention