Sept 03, Colombo: The World Health Organization (WHO) has conferred the global award to mark the 2013 Anti-Tobacco Day on Sri Lanka's Minister of Health Maithreepala Sirisena.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the award to the Health Minister today at a ceremony held at the BMICH to felicitate the Minister.
Health Minister of Thailand Dr. Pradit Sintavanarong also participated in the ceremony felicitating Minister Sirisena.
Every year, the World Health Organization recognizes individuals or organizations for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control through this award society as a measure of strengthening its anti-tobacco campaign to eradicate smoking throughout the world.
Minister Sirisena received the World No Tobacco Day Award 2013 from the Director General of the WHO in Geneva for his decisive role in implementation of Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on packaging and labeling of tobacco products.
The Minister under the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Authority Act has brought regulation requiring the tobacco companies to label cigarette packets with graphic images of diseases caused by smoking.
All cigarette packs will have to carry at least one of eight pictures depicting illnesses caused by smoking, such as cancer, myocardial infarction, stroke etc., as have been finalized by the National Alcohol and Tobacco Authority (NATA) since March 01, 2013.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)