General News: WHO to award PM for tough anti-smoking stance

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday announced that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is to receive a World No Tobacco Day Award for his steadfast campaign and tough anti-smoking legislation in Greece. The decision was announced in Moscow during the first global health ministers' conference on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), for which tobacco use is a major risk factor.

The World No Tobacco Day awards are given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to reducing tobacco use and part of the reasoning used for presenting the award to Papandreou was the "political courage" he displayed in passing potentially unpopular measures at a time when the Greek government was also adopting strict austerity measures to exit the economic crisis.

The award will most likely be presented when the WHO officially inaugurates its first special bureau for NCDs for southeastern Europe in Athens on June 3.

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