World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2010

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Active Image21 May 2010 - The Ministry of Health’s (MOH’s) Central Health Region in Belize City declared all its health facilities smoke-free in commemoration of World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2010. This was made possible through the Cabinet’s recent approval of the MOH’s proposal to make all public places in Belize smoke-free.

Official remarks were delivered by Dr. Jorge Polanco, Deputy Director of Health Services, after which he declared the Central Health Region facilities smoke-free. A health and wellness fair then followed with various participating organizations, including the Belize Family Life Association; the National Drug Abuse Control Council; the Belize Cancer Society; and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) displaying and highlighting the dangers of tobacco use and promoting healthy lifestyles. Schools, the media, and the general public participated in this event.

Active ImageHealth messages on the dangers of tobacco use were also aired on national radio during the period May 25 to June 1.  Teams comprising Ministry of Health personnel, physicians, and the PAHO/WHO Tobacco Focal Point, made appearances on national radio and television programs.  Two posters: “The Smoker’s Body” and “Make Every Day World No Tobacco Day” were reproduced and distributed country-wide.

World No Tobacco Day 2010 focused on the harm that tobacco marketing and smoke do to women and girls and gave overdue recognition to the importance of controlling the epidemic of tobacco among women. As WHO Director-General Margaret Chan wrote in the new WHO report, Women and health: today's evidence, tomorrow's agenda, "protecting and promoting the health of women is crucial to health and development – not only for the citizens of today but also for those of future generations". The observance of WNTD also sought to make men more aware of their responsibility to avoid smoking around the women with whom they live and work.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:07