The Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program 2008 has accentuated the need to deglamorize, denormalize and delegitimize tobacco use in order to achieve tobacco control on a global scale. The program has reiterated the dire need to get people in the drumbeat of tobacco control.
It has been a great learning experience here at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where 70 participants from 15 countries have met and shared one another’s experiences and success stories in tobacco control.
The program rolled out a platform for learning and sharing the diverse issues pertinent to tobacco control. The two – week long training has unfolded a holistic outlook to tobacco control and has highlighted the need for a multi- disciplinary approach.
Apart from helping the participants to acquire competencies, strengthen skills and apply principles and theories of evidence-based policies in tobacco control, the program has enhanced the leadership and networking skills to implement effective policy change; we’ve been inspired, all over again, to provide sustained inputs for creating a continuum of effective action plans in order to achieve remarkable results in tobacco control.
Truly, Tobacco Control is not a sprint but a long term marathon and the 2008 Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program has provided the momentum for it; the program has voiced out loud and clear, the need to create a critical mass of people from varied sections of the society for effective and sustained tobacco control efforts.
As the two-week long program comes to a close, let us all commit ourselves to leave behind a legacy of a tobacco-free world for our future generation.
Dr. Niki Shrestha
Junior Public Health Professional
Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)
World Health Organization, South-East Asia Regional Office