Call for nominations of the World No Tobacco Day 2021 awards

15 Jan 2021
Photo of a big building shaped as a elipse, with no walls, shape made of the bent beams. In the exterior, four large banners with the icon of prohibited smoking

Washington, D.C., 15 January 2021 (PAHO/WHO)—The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for nominations to the World No Tobacco Day Awards of individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control.

Theme: Commit to quit

The 2021 WNTD campaign “Commit to Quit” will help create healthier environments that are conducive to quitting tobacco by advocating for strong tobacco cessation policies; increasing access to cessation services; raising awareness of tobacco industry tactics, and empowering tobacco users to make successful quit attempts through “quit & win” initiatives.

Guidelines for nominations

The objective of these criteria is to facilitate nominations, bearing in mind that the final decision about whether to bestow an award rests with the WHO Regional Directors and the WHO Director-General.


There will be a maximum of six World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) awards per WHO region. Two of the awardees might be granted special recognition by means of a WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award.

Who can make nominations

Anyone can submit names for consideration.

Who can be nominated

The nominee can be an individual or a collective (e.g., a nongovernmental organization devoted to tobacco control) or a government department/Ministry that has made outstanding contribution to tobacco control.

The nominee must have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the policies and measures contained in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its guidelines, particularly in relation to the theme of World No Tobacco Day.

Who cannot be nominated

WHO or other United Nations staff and their relatives.

People or collectives employed by or involved with the tobacco industry and their relatives.

People or collectives who had received a World No Tobacco Day award in the two previous years.

How to submit a nomination

Download the  nomination form. Nominations should be written in one of the six WHO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish). Nomination form should be typed, up to 200 words (maximum) and no handwritten forms will be accepted.

The nominations forms related to individuals or organizations from the Region of the Americas can be sent by email to Lic. Adriana Bacelar (

For nominations from other Regions, please see at the bottom of this page the list of WHO Regional Offices contacts.

On each nomination form, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Complete name of the nominee.
  • Title of the nominee, if a person.
  • Gender of the nominee, if a person.
  • Address of the nominee, including email or phone.
  • Language to be used on the correspondence with nominees and on the certificates.
  • Complete name of the nominator.
  • Title of the nominator, if a person.
  • Address of the nominator, including email or phone.
  • Detailed description of the reason for the nomination, including the dates of the actions.

In addition to the description of the achievement, we also strongly encourage testimonial letters from up to two individuals (other than the nominator) who support the nomination. These testimonial letters are an integral part of the nomination process, since they help to paint a complete picture of your nominee for the members of the Selection Committee. NOTE: we do not contact the originators of the testimonial letters.

Possible reasons for nominations are:

  • The nomination can be for a particular action, or for a group of actions, or for the body of a nominee's work in the area of tobacco control at any local, national, regional or international level.
  • The nominee may have set a meritorious ( or distinctive) example for others in the tobacco control movement.
  • The nominee may have overcome a big obstacle in achieving the objective for which he or she is considered worthy of a World No Tobacco Day award.
  • The nominee may have demonstrated outstanding leadership or commitment or been particularly innovative in his or her approach to tobacco control.
  • The nominee may have brought particular resources or knowledge or expertise to bear on tobacco control.
  • The nominee may have made an outstanding contribution to tobacco control as a crucial measure to rolling back noncommunicable diseases to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages).
  • Nominations for reasons based on the regular parliamentary or administrative work of nominees (in official or personal capacity), e.g. the hosting or chairing of meetings, will not be considered.

Gender balance

WHO is committed to achieving a gender balance in WNTD awardees and conducted a gender analysis in 2019 of the recipients of the previous 8 year’s World No Tobacco Day awards. Female recipients have consistently been underrepresented: On average, across all WHO regions, only 16% of recipients were female while 54% went to male recipients and 30% went to institutions.

To address the issue of female recipients being underrepresented, WHO strongly encourages the nomination of female awardees. This will promote more female role models in tobacco control and encourage young female leaders to join our fight against tobacco.

The deadline for submissions of nominations is Friday, 12 March 2021, at 17:00hrs (GMT) / 12:00hrs (EST)

Award selection

A committee formed by Director of the WHO Health Promotion Department (HPR), Head of Unit - No Tobacco (TFI), a representative from the Convention Secretariat of the WHO FCTC and the six Regional Advisers will examine the nominations and will select up to six candidates per region based on merit.

While making the shortlist the committee may agree on a set of shortlisting criteria. Any recommendation to award the WHO FCTC focal point in the government should only be made if he/ she has made outstanding contribution to advance WHO FCTC implementation and not just for routine work or participation in COP and Working group meetings.

Each regional list will be submitted for approval of the respective WHO Regional Director (RD). After approval from the RD, the list will be submitted to the WHO Director-General (DG) for confirmation. This committee will also recommend to the DG the two nominees for the WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award from among the list of the RDs approved lists.

Nepotism and favouritism are not allowed.

To foster a better gender-balance of award recipients, nominations of female awardees are particularly encouraged. WHO aims to achieve equal numbers of male and female awardees in 2021 and will proceed with the selection accordingly.

Announcement of awardees

WHO HQ will announce the awardees in WHO web site five days before 31 May


WHO Regional Offices contacts for submissions from other Regions

Dr Nivo Ramanandraibe
Acting Team Lead, Tobacco and reduction of other NCD Risk factors (TNR)
WHO Regional Office for Africa

Dr Fatimah MS El-Awa
Regional Adviser, Tobacco Free Initiative
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean

Mrs Kristina Mauer-Stender
Programme Manager, Tobacco Control Programme
WHO Regional Office for Europe

Dr Jagdish Kaur
Regional Adviser, Tobacco Free Initiative
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia

Ms Mina Kashiwabara
Technical Officer, Tobacco Free Initiative
WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific