Erick Antonio Ochoa to be Honored… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Erick Antonio Ochoa to be Honored for Leading Mexico’s Fight Against Tobacco Use

May 17, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Erick Antonio Ochoa of Mexico has been chosen to receive the 2023 Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence for his significant contributions to the fight against tobacco use. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will present Mr. Antonio Ochoa with the award at its annual awards celebration on May 18th in Washington, D.C.

The Wilkenfeld Award was established in honor of the late Judy Wilkenfeld, the founder of Tobacco-Free Kids’ international program. Wilkenfeld was a tireless leader in the effort to reduce tobacco use and in the adoption of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the influential international treaty that commits countries to take strong action to reduce tobacco use. The award is given annually to international tobacco control advocates who have made extraordinary contributions to reducing tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries and who both inspire and enable others to do the same in the spirit exemplified by Wilkenfeld.

Mr. Antonio Ochoa is the executive director and co-founder of Salud Justa Mx, a leading public health advocacy organization based in Mexico. For more than a decade, Mr. Antonio Ochoa has been an integral part of the grassroots movement that has made Mexico a global leader in the fight against tobacco use. Known for his collaborative spirit, Mr. Antonio Ochoa has spent years bringing together civil society to fiercely advocate for changes to Mexico’s public health laws.

Thanks in no small part to the leadership of Mr. Antonio Ochoa and Mexico’s seasoned tobacco control community, Mexico passed a historic tobacco control law in 2021. Though Mr. Antonio Ochoa and his coalition faced aggressive opposition from Big Tobacco, they remained unfazed. Mexico is now 100 percent smoke-free with a law that also prohibits tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship – a monumental victory for public health.

“The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is thrilled to recognize the tireless work of Erick Antonio Ochoa,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “It is the life-saving work of advocates like Erick that led to sweeping progress in Mexico. Erick is a true leader who has brought people from all walks of life together to create historic change and set an example for advocates around the world on what can be achieved.”

“I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of smoking and tobacco use in my country,” said Antonio Ochoa. “We know what happens when an industry that manipulates and deceives remains unchecked. I have dedicated my career to fighting back against Big Tobacco – and this award will energize me to keep fighting, to keep achieving and to keep standing up for all Mexicans in the fight for public health.” 

To learn more about the 2023 Youth Advocates of the Year Awards, please visit: