Union health minister Harsh Vardhan was awarded the ‘WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award’ for his accomplishments in the area of tobacco control on Monday.
Leading a pledge to keep away from tobacco on the occasion, Vardhan said, “People who consume tobacco or smoke cigarettes can face more complications of Covid-19 which can even lead to death. They face 40-50% added risk due to this habit.”
Every year, WHO recognises individuals or organisations in each of the six WHO regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Vardhan’s leadership was instrumental in the 2019 national legislation to ban e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. “Pleased to award Harsh Vardhan with the special recognition for tobacco control,” he tweeted.