Washington, DC, May 30, 2017 (PAHO / WHO) - The World Health Organization (WHO) will distinguish Colombia, Ecuador and Peru with its 2017 World No Tobacco Day Award, which recognizes institutions, organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the fight against smoking in their country.

In total, 29 countries from all regions of the world will be awarded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the framework of World No Tobacco Day (31 May), whose theme this year seeks to highlight the threat posed by tobacco to social development.

The winners have contributed to the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and its Protocol for the Elimination of Illicit Trade.

The three winners of the award in the Americas region are:

  • Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia, Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia and the Citizens coalition to oversee tobacco control policy (Veeduría ciudadana para el Control de Tabaco).
  • Internal Revenue Agency of Ecuador (Servicio de Rentas Internas - SRI).
  • Ministry of Economy and Finance of Peru.

The awards to the winners of the region will be presented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organisation, starting on May 31.

The FCTC was the world's first health treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO and went into effect in 2005. A legally binding accord, it commits States Parties to implementing a series of tobacco control measures aimed at reducing tobacco consumption and saving lives.

In the Americas, 30 countries have ratified the Convention, and a number have made significant progress in implementing its provisions, particularly smoke-free indoor public spaces and health warnings on tobacco packages.

Tobacco is the only legal consumer product that kills up to half its regular users when consumed exactly as the manufacturer intends. Worldwide, approximately 14 persons die from a tobacco-related disease every minute, equivalent to nearly 7 million lives lost each year.

For more information go to World No Tobacco Day 2017