The Pan American Health Organization is honoring six individuals and organizations as winners of the regional 2015 World No Tobacco Day awards, in recognition of their contributions to advancing tobacco control in the Americas.
The World No Tobacco Day awards honor individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to advancing policies and measures on tobacco control.
The regional winners from the Americas of the 2015 World No Tobacco Day awards are:
Nicaragua, represented by President Daniel Ortega. Nicaragua was the first country in the world to ratify the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products. The country’s leadership and example are expected to encourage other countries of the Americas to follow suit and help to secure the number of ratifications needed for the protocol to enter into force internationally.
Uruguay, represented by President Tabaré Vásquez. Uruguay was the second country of the Americas to ratify the protocol. Vázquez, a medical doctor and oncologist by training, played the lead role in advancing his country’s comprehensive and effective tobacco control policies. Despite legal challenges by the tobacco industry, he has continued to support tobacco control during his second presidential term and is also encouraging public policies to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol.
Marcelo Fisch, head of the Fiscal Special Control Division of the Federal Revenue Secretariat in Brazil’s Ministry of Finance. Fisch has been a key partner in advancing tobacco control both in Brazil and internationally. Under his leadership, Brazil began a process that eventually culminated in a track and tracing system for tobacco products known as Skorpios.
Patricia Sosa, director of Latin America programs for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Ms. Sosa has provided key support and coordination that has helped advance tobacco control in countries including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Perú.
Stella Aguinaga Bialous. A nurse by training, MS. Bialous has become an internationally recognized expert on monitoring the tobacco industry and developing policies to address industry interference with public health.
Mirta Molinari, who serves as regional tobacco control coordinator for Latin America of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and director of the Union’s country office in Mexico.