In news– The World Health Organization (WHO) on World No tobacco day, honoured Union health minister Harsh Vardhan with Director-General Special award for his efforts to control tobacco consumption in India. He was instrumental in the 2019 national legislation to ban E-cigarettes & heated tobacco products.
About the awards-
- Every year, the WHO recognises individuals or organisations across the globe for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control.
- This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards.
- In 2021, other than Indian Union health minister, the Tobacco Control Research Group, University of Bath, UK is also honoured for its efforts to expose tobacco industry’s attempts and tactics to weaken, block or delay tobacco control.
- The WHO also annually recognises efforts of various individuals and groups by honouring them with World No Tobacco Day awards and these awards are given across six regions.
- In South East region category, the awardees include Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association and Uttar Pradesh Tobacco Control Cell, along with one organisation each from Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
World No Tobacco Day-
- It is observed annually around the world on 31 May.
- It is one of 11 official global public health campaigns by the WHO.
- It started in 1987 when WHO’s World Health Assembly passed a resolution calling for 7 April 1988 to be ‘World no-smoking day’.
- The day aims at informing the public about the dangers of using tobacco and the business practices of tobacco companies.
- It educates the public about the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organisation is doing to fight against the use of tobacco, and what the people can do to claim their right to healthy living.
- The 2020 theme was ‘Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use’.
The 2021 theme is ‘Quit tobacco to be a winner’.