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Thai Agency Wins Bloomberg Award For Tobacco Control

The Nation – Published on March 17, 2009

The New York based Bloomberg Foundation has praised Thailand’s Action on Smoking and Health Foundation for its efforts to control tobacco consumption by putting pictures representing the side effects of smoking on cigarette packets.

“The pictures we use on cigarette packets were of patients suffering from diseases related to smoking. We tested these pictures on smokers and nonsmokers and selected the ones that had the most effect,” said Dr Prakit Vathisathokit, secretary general of the foundation.

“We would be happy to send these pictures to other countries as well,” he added.

Prakit, as a representative of the foundation, accepted the 2009 Bloomberg Award for Global Tobacco Control and a cash prize of US$100,000 (Bt3.6 million) at the 14th World Conference on Tobacco in Mumbai, India.

This is the first time that the Bloomberg Foundation has handed out awards for tobaccoconsumption control. The prize is aimed at rewarding government agencies and private organisation in low and middleincome countries that have complied with the World Health Organisation’s MPower policy.

The WHO policy comprises of tax and price measures, including antismuggling measures, the establishment of smokefree areas and effective enforcement of smokefree policies, as well as advertising bans, and other regulatory or legislative initiatives.

The other winners of the award were Nigeria’s Friends of the Earth, the Mexico City Federal District Secretary of Health and Panama’s Coalition to Fight against Tobacco.

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