A UK government agency has recognised Gibraltar’s work to cut down smoking in the community during a recent presentation.
The UK Health Safety Agency Overseas Team presented Minister for Health John Cortes and Public Health Director Dr Helen Carter with a plaque for cutting down tobacco use.
It made Gibraltar one of only two countries to be singled out for promoting the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on tobaccco control.
The UK HSA presented the award to Gibraltar on May 23 at the annual UK Overseas Territories Conference.
WHO says it is important to reduce how many people smoke and reduce its supply in its Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control.
Public Health Gibraltar established its National Focal Point over the last 12 months.
The Gibraltar Health Authority has taken what the government called a ‘renewed and refreshed’ approach to help smokers kick the habit.
“I’m delighted that Gibraltar’s work on smoking cessation has been recognised internationally,” Minister Cortes said.
“Gibraltar is proud of its holistic, cross- departmental efforts on tobacco control.”
The WHO has declared tobacco an ‘epidemic’ that kills more than eight million people a year throughout the world.
It said on its website that tobacco kills about half its users.
“Smokers are seven times more likely to successfully quit if they receive professional support,” Dr Carter said.
“If you want to talk to somebody about smoking cessation, please contact the GHA Smoking Cessation Service on 200 52441.
“You can now have direct access to the service via any GHA member of staff.”
Most of the 1.3 billion global tobacco users are men and come from low and middle income countries, the WHO said.
At this point there are 182 countries signed onto its 2003 framework convention.
It advises smoke-free areas, graphic warnings, raising taxes and bans on advertising.
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