In Spite of criticism of govt policies and its failure to implement the Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) due since June 30, 2020 by the different anti-tobacco advocates, 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.
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 said the award had been given to Pakistan due to efforts made during the last decade.
WHO was asked to nominate individuals or organizations from each of the six WHO regions for their accomplishments in controlling tobacco use. 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 being lauded for implementing the ‘M’ measures (monitoring of tobacco use policies) in the MPOWER package to the highest level.