WHO honours tobacco control champions in the European Region

Every year on 31 May, World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) raises awareness of the health risks associated with tobacco use. In 2019, the focus is on lung health. More than 40% of all tobacco-related deaths are due to lung diseases such as cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis. Lung health is central in the battle for a smoke-free world.

In addition to highlighting key health risks, WNTD offers an opportunity to take stock of the achievements of tobacco control advocates around the globe. WHO awards selected individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the fight against tobacco, whether in the form of research, national campaigning or advocacy for a tobacco-free world.

This year’s award winners in the WHO European Region are:

  • Galina Sakharova, Professor and Chief Researcher at the Central Research Institute for Organization and Informatization of Health Care (Russian Federation);
  • Dutch Alliance for a Smoke-Free Society (Netherlands);
  • No Excuse Slovenia – Youth Network (Slovenia);
  • Shira Kislev, Chief Executive Officer of Smoke-Free Israel (Israel);
  • Smoke-Free Life Coalition (Bulgaria); and
  • Hans Gilljam, Professor Emeritus of Public Health Science at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden).

For a closer look at the achievements of 2 of these tobacco control champions, read the interviews conducted with Professor Galina Sakharova and Professor Hans Gilljam.