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Jordi Monés with the award. PHOTO: V. SALGADO - FCB

FC Barcelona and the European Commission’s “Quit Smoking with Barça - Deja de Fumar con el Barça” was awarded the 2013 ELF Award by the European Lung Foundation (ELF) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) during the Annual ERS Congress.

The campaign is designed to help millions of Europeans kick the habit and enjoy the benefits of a life without smoke – more than 70,000 individuals have registered to take part in the programme. It is also the first campaign launched by large public institution in collaboration with a globally-known sports club. “Quit Smoking with Barça-Deja de Fumar con el Barça” has been applauded by the medical and scientific community because its focus is on the long-term health benefits associated with a life without smoke.

Prize awarded in Barcelona

The presentation of the ELF Award – the award is given annually to an organisation that has made an important contribution in the respiratory health field – took place during the Annual ERS Congress in Barcelona. This year’s Congress, which started on September 7 and will run through September 11 and is attended by 20,000 health professionals, will discuss the latest advancements in respiratory medicine. This ceremony honours significant research and public projects in respiratory health in Europe.

The director responsible for the Club’s Medical Services, Jordi Monés, said that this campaign has allowed Barça to honour its ‘Més que un Club’ slogan: “We’re delighted to have worked with the European Commission in such an important public health issue, and we’re proud to be here, in Barcelona, to receive the ELF Award. This shows that our message reaches people, and that our common effort has had a positive impact. At Barça we firmly believe in the ‘Més que un Club’ slogan, and we want to promote the values of respect, social commitment and health. The ‘Quit Smoking with Barça - Deja de Fumar con el Barça’ campaign allows us to honour our slogan.”

Monica Fletcher, ELF president, said that the decision to award Barça was unanimous: “What impressed us most about this campaign was that it was able to reach people who were unsuccessful in their fight to quit smoking and people who haven’t tried to quit.”

FC Barcelona and the European Commission’s commitment to a public health, as explained by Paola Testori Coggi, Director General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission, is one of the strengths of the union between the two institutions. “We are very pleased with the positive impact we have had with this partnership, and we’re pleased that it’s recognised by health professionals. We hope to continue inspiring people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Together we can work for a Europe without smoke,” she said.

“Quit smoking with Barça” is the latest step in the European Commission’s campaign ”Ex-smokers are Unstoppable” , an initiative which has spread across 27 countries of the European Union over the last two years. At the heart of the campaign is the free on-line tool FCB iCoach, - a telephone app which offers updated support with the participation of Barça players, coaches and staff.

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