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Vital Strategies Partners, Collaborators Recognized by WHO on World No Tobacco Day 2021 

Special Envoy for Noncommunicable Diseases, Her Royal Highness, Princess Dina Mired, Hashemite King of Jordan and Tuba Durgut, Vice President of the Health, Family, Labour and Social Affairs Commission of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly recognized for accomplishments in tobacco control 

31 May 2021 (New York) – Vital Strategies celebrates its team members named as 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day Award Winners for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control: 

  • Her Royal Highness, Princess Dina Mired, Hashemite King of Jordan, Vital Strategies’ Special Envoy for Noncommunicable Diseases 
  • Tuba Durgut, Vice President of the Health, Family, Labour and Social Affairs Commission of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly 

Each year, WHO presents awards to organizations and individuals who promote and enforce tobacco control around the globe. On May 31, World No Tobacco Day focuses on creating networks of support and increasing access to services proven to help tobacco users quit successfully. 

“We are immensely proud to collaborate with Princess Dina and M.P. Tuba Durgut as well as with our dedicated partners to curb the use of deadly tobacco products, linked to millions of preventable deaths each year,” José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies. “Vital Strategies looks forward to continuing our work together to help implement lifesaving policies to reduce tobacco use and protect people’s health around the globe.” 

Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of the Hashemite King of Jordan is a well-known and respected global advocate for cancer control and non-communicable diseases as well a fierce advocate in the fight against tobacco, both in Jordan and globally. In 2020, she was chosen to be a Member (observer) of the Jordan National Tobacco Control Committee, and Head of the Technical Committee reporting to the Prime Ministry. She is also a Global Ambassador for Tobacco Free Portfolios. In 2021, HRH Mired joined Vital Strategies as a Special Envoy for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) where she helps accelerate the adoption of proven, cost-effective strategies that reduce NCDs and improve population health. 

“I am honored to receive this award,” said Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired. “As the mother of a cancer survivor, I am determined to do whatever I can to prevent people from using tobacco products – for their own health and the health of their family, friends and neighbors. It is within our power to reverse this public health crisis and stop the death and disease caused by tobacco use.” 

Tuba Durgut is a leading voice in Turkey’s fight against the use of tobacco products and was influential in the passage of strong national tobacco-control measures in 2019. These included an increase in tobacco taxation and the adoption of plain packaging despite aggressive opposition from the tobacco industry.  

An expert on health promotion, Durgut has been partnering with Vital Strategies since 2008, during a critical implementation of comprehensive tobacco control legislation in Turkey, one of the strongest in the world. Vital Strategies works with the Turkish government to create campaigns that help to enforce smoke-free public places, promote plain packaging on tobacco products and ban tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship that appeals to children. The most recent government-led campaign under this collaboration, “Their gain, our loss,” garnered more than $30 million in publicity value and was recognized as the second-most admired national campaign in an Ipsos study on advertising in Turkey. 

“I am grateful for this recognition and the strides we have made in Turkey,” said Durgut. “There is more work to be done and we must continue to hold the tobacco industry accountable. We need continued government support for taxation and the campaigns that can help prevent people from using tobacco products.” 

Vital Strategies partners who are WHO World No Tobacco Day 2021 Award Winners include:  

  • Tobacco Control Research Group, University of Bath (WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award)  
  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India (WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award)  
  • Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association, India  
  • State Tobacco Control Cell, Uttar Pradesh, India  
  • Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Pakistan  
  • Muhammadiyah Central Board, Indonesia 
  • Qinhuangdao Municipal Government

About Vital Strategies’ work in tobacco control: 

Vital Strategies works globally and in more than 40 countries to support the adoption of proven policies to reduce tobacco use. Our global team of experts use policy, advocacy and strategic communication to help governments adopt lifesaving, public health “best buys” such as comprehensive smoke-free laws and high tobacco taxes. Our evidence-based media campaigns have been seen by more than 2 billion people around the world. We partner with American Cancer Society to produce The Tobacco Atlas, the most comprehensive report on the evolving global tobacco epidemic, and support production of WHO’s MPOWER reports. Vital Strategies is a main partner in the $1 billion Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use and a partner in the global tobacco industry watchdog, Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP)

For more information on Vital Strategies’ work in tobacco control, please visit: https://www.vitalstrategies.org/programs/tobacco-control  

About Vital Strategies 

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. 

To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat. 

Media Contact(s): 

Christina Honeysett: choneysett@vitalstrategies.org, +1-917-720-4775 
Ally Davis: adavis@vitalstrategies.org, +1-516-205-4203