The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office for the eastern Mediterranean has announced the World No Tobacco Day 2021 Award for Pakistan for its effective anti-tobacco campaign. According to the former technical head of the Health Ministry’s Tobacco Control Cell (TCC) and Focal Person for WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Dr. Ziauddin Islam, the award had been given to Pakistan due to efforts made during the last decade.
What Happened: WHO was asked to nominate individuals or organizations from each of the six WHO regions for their successful mitigation of tobacco consumption. It was confirmed that the international award will be given to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on ‘World No Tobacco Day – Commit to Quit’ which will be observed on May 31 across the globe. The secretariat of FCTC had already recognized the Smoke-Free Islamabad model internationally by displaying a picture of Rose and Jasmin Public Park on the title page of its annual report. Pakistan is also being praised for its efficient implementation of the ‘M’ measures (monitoring of tobacco use policies) in the MPOWER package to the highest level. With 304 localities and parks smoke-free in 12 different districts, Pakistan is the world’s first country to declare smoke-free public parks.
What Next: Pakistan has now set a target of reducing the number of persons consuming tobacco products by up to 30 percent by 2025.