Health Professionals Of The World Unite To Fight Tobacco

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Organisations representing millions of health professionals from around the world are joining together with the international pharmaceutical industry to form a unique partnership in the fight against tobacco.

Under the banner 'Tobacco Free Initiative', the World Health Organisation has brought together representatives of the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, the International Federation of Dentists and the International Pharmaceutical Federation to spearhead worldwide anti-tobacco plans for the next three years and for World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Five major objectives have been identified for World No Tobacco Day in line with its theme of smoking cessation:

  • Promoting smoking cessation to the public
  • Implementing more effective counselling by health professionals
  • Pursuing a smoke-free United Nations and smoking cessation
  • Programmes for UN personnel
  • Awarding world-wide tobacco free medals and prizes
  • A symbolic event at WHO headquarters in Geneva on May 31

Dr Delon Human, Secretary General of the World Medical Association, who is chairing the World No Tobacco Day steering group, said: "It is truly significant that these bodies have, for the first time, come together in such a project. The reason is that tobacco is a common enemy, and co-operation constitutes a win-win relationship, not only for health professionals, but most importantly for patients."

"We shall be focusing this year specifically on smoking cessation, by co-ordinating our websites, journals and meetings. Tobacco advisory kits will be made available to offer health professionals state of the art information to help patients stop smoking."

"The true strength of this new partnership lies in the fact that it provides access to so many health professionals who have daily contact with patients who smoke and who often smoke themselves."

"The steering group provides access to almost eight million physicians worldwide, nurses in some 113 countries, pharmacists in 80 countries and dentists in 117 countries. Together I believe we can make a difference in the struggle against tobacco."