WHO to Honour Antigua and Barbuda for Fight Against Harmful Effects of Tobacco Smoke

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday May 29,
– Antigua and
Barbuda is among individuals, organizations and authorities from six countries
across the Americas who will be honoured with a 2019 World No Tobacco Day

The World
Health Organization (WHO), which awards the honours annually to recognize
outstanding contributions to advancing the fight against the harmful effects of
tobacco smoke, said the twin-island nation’s Ministry of Health, Wellness and
the Environment will be awarded for becoming the third country in the region to
approve, within a single comprehensive legislation, a ban on smoking in indoor
public places and workplaces; mandatory graphic health warnings on tobacco
products; and a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Other awardees
are from Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, the United States and Uruguay.

The awards were announced yesterday ahead of World No Tobacco Day which is observed on May 31. This year it will have the theme, “Tobacco and lung health”.

The WHO said
this year’s winners have all paved the way towards the advancement of policies
and measures contained in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in
the Region of the Americas.

“Tobacco use
is a huge determinant of lung health and is responsible for 65 per cent of all
deaths from pulmonary cancers in the region,” said Dr Anselm Hennis, Director
of the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health at the Pan
American Health Organization (PAHO). “This prize recognizes the vital role that
organizations and individuals play in developing and supporting policies to
protect the people of the Americas from the harmful impact of tobacco smoke on
lung health.”

The aim of World
No Tobacco Day, which was created by WHO Member States in 1987, is to raise
awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure,
and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.

This year’s campaign will focus on highlighting the negative impact that tobacco has on lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases, and the critical importance of the lungs to health and well-being.

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