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Islamabad: While anti-tobacco advocates have been criticizing policies of the government and its failure to implement the Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) due since June 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office for the eastern Mediterranean has announced the World No Tobacco Day 2021 Award for Pakistan for its effective anti-tobacco campaign.

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Former technical head of the Health Ministry’s Tobacco Control Cell (TCC) and Focal Person for WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Dr Ziauddin Islam said the award had been given to Pakistan due to efforts made during the last decade.

The secretariat of FCTC had already recognized the Smoke Free Islamabad model internationally by displaying a picture of Rose and Jasmin Public Park on the title page of its annual report. Pakistan is being lauded for implementing the ‘M’ measures (monitoring of tobacco use policies) in the MPOWER package to the highest level.

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The ministry’s spokesperson Sajid Shah said it was not correct that the TCC was disbanded and employees were removed from service.

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