The Union's Healthiest Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, received the Luther L. Terry Award in Washington on Saturday. This, for those who aren’t familiar with the coveted prize awarded by the American Cancer Society for international tobacco control efforts under the category of ‘exemplary leadership’, is worthy of the man with a mission. After doing his bit to discourage the Indian film and television industries from projecting cigarette consumption, Mr Ramadoss has finally been feted — so what if it’s at faraway smoke-unfriendly America. So let’s hear it for the minister — hip, hip, hoo... now that’s a bad cough we’ve developed.
Tobacco consumption is a bad thing. And nowhere was this message more loudly reverberating than in a four-day anti-tobacco convention in the US capital. About 4,700 activists from 130 countries discussed ways of fighting the scourge. Last week, public health officials in the US released a report predicting one billion deaths in the next 100 years from tobacco-related diseases. This horrifying news prompted the gathered activists to call for more advertising restrictions, higher taxes and larger warning labels on tobacco products.
There was some talk about decreasing worldwide tobacco production. The only problem was that those at the convention were neither smokers or growers — effectively demanders and suppliers — to have a real say on this matter. Nonetheless, Mr Ramadoss has won a prestigious award. Which is such a victory for anti-smokers all across the world.