The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Ulysses “Yul” Dorotheo - SITT project director

Dr Ul - winner of the Judy Wilkenfeld award for tobacco control excellenceThis month we begin a new format for our FCA profiles. To make them more personal, we’ll ask our interviewees to answer five important questions.

We begin this new format with Ulysses “Yul” Dorotheo, who the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids recently awarded the 2011 Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence.

Dr Yul is a neuro-ophthalmologist and has been a tobacco control advocate for more than 10 years. He works as the project director for the Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax (SITT). This is a five-year project of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) that aims to raise tobacco taxes and prices in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines and Vietnam.

1.    How do you feel winning this award?
Surprised, honoured and grateful.

2.    What motivates you in your tobacco control (TC) work?
The unnecessary and preventable human suffering of tobacco victims and their families; the deceit and lack of accountability of tobacco companies for the harm they cause; and the ease with which national and community leaders wrongfully favour trade and politics over human health.

3.    What do you think is the biggest challenge facing FCA and tobacco control in general?
Full and effective FCTC implementation and its provisions is a challenge for all advocates.  This requires a multi-sectoral approach that extends beyond the sphere of health officials. 

4.    What is the biggest challenge for tobacco control in the South-East Asian region?
Tobacco industry interference is one of the biggest obstacles because many government officials and the public are easily swayed by industry half-truths and manipulative/deceptive presentation of the facts related to tobacco control measures.

5.    What are your TC priorities until the end of the year?
Implementing the Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax  project is top priority, including participating in the FCA Article 6 task force.  I will also continue contributing to non-tax FCTC implementation as part of the SEATCA team.

Watch Dr Dorotheo's speech (below) after he accepts the Judy Wilkenfeld Award.

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