People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- July 11, 2013
By Annabel Lyman
FCA Pacific Island Countries Coordinator
Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognises individuals or organisations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. There were six awardees in the Western Pacific region this year including the Cook Islands Ministry of Health.
The Cook Islands ratified the FCTC in 2004, and was the first Pacific Island country to produce and work toward a national Tobacco Control Action Plan. Areas where the country has made great strides in the past year include a tobacco tax increase and successful launch of a unique Blue Ribbon campaign.
Several countries participated in a World No Tobacco Day project designed to encourage sharing of information. Participating countries chose one of the letters W, N, T or D to display as part of their activities, along with a flag, which they photographed. The intention is to create a poster of tobacco control in the Pacific by "stitching" the photos together to spell out 'WNTD 2013'.
A full report and pictures of activities in many of the countries in the region can be downloaded here.