People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- October 11, 2010
The World Health Organization (WHO) has awarded Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum’s (TTCF) executive director Lutgard Kokulinda with its World No Tobacco Day 2010 award.
Every year WHO recognises individuals or organisations in each of its six regions for their outstanding work in tobacco control.
TTCF is a member of the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), and since its inception five years ago, the organisation has been vital in Tanzania’s fight against tobacco consumption.
In particular, Ms Kokulinda works on issues relating to tobacco growing and farmers, plus tobacco industry interference in Tanzania.
In her acceptance speech Kokulinda said that many developed countries were campaigning strongly to cut tobacco use (including the enforcement of rigorous tobacco control legislation), which has meant a drop in smoking rates.
However, to sustain their business, “multinational tobacco companies are doing all they can to ensure increased tobacco use in developing countries,” she said.
According to Kokulinda, about 35 per cent of the Tanzanian population are smokers, with rates of smoking amongst youth alarmingly high due to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship by the tobacco industry.
“They [big tobacco companies] practice in Tanzania what they wouldn’t dare in their own countries,” she said, calling on leaders in the developed world to stop supporting tobacco industries.