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American Cancer Society recognizes international tobacco control leaders

ATLANTA December 11, 2008 The American Cancer Society announced today the winners of the 2009 Luther L. Terry Awards for Exemplary Leadership in Tobacco Control. The awards are named for the late United States Surgeon General Luther L. Terry, M.D., who led the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's Report which connected tobacco use to lung cancer and other illnesses. Dr. Terry's courageous and groundbreaking work established the foundation for public health scrutiny of the dangers of tobacco use. The awards are presented triennially the initial awards were presented at the 11th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 2000, with subsequent awards presentations at the 12th and 13th World Conferences on Tobacco OR Health in 2003 and 2006 respectively.

"Given the momentum of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), currently ratified by 161 countries including Costa Rica, Croatia, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Nepal, and the growing global movement to combat unprecedented and aggressive worldwide tobacco marketing tactics, the timeliness of recognizing these achievers' contributions is particularly relevant," said chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, John R. Seffrin, Ph.D.

"As reported by the WHO, there are approximately 1.3 billion smokers in the world one-third of the global population aged 15 years and older," Seffrin continued. "Eventually, 650 million of them will die from smoking. This number exceeds the expected number of deaths from HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, automobile accidents, maternal mortality, homicide, and suicide combined."

This year's awards will be presented in six categories: Distinguished Career, Exemplary Leadership by a Government Ministry, Outstanding Individual Leadership, Outstanding Organization, Outstanding Research Contribution, and Outstanding Community Service. These awards will recognize outstanding worldwide achievement in the field of tobacco control and will be presented during a special ceremony on Wednesday, March 11, in Mumbai, India, as part of the 14th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health. The winners are as follows:

  • The United States' Stanton Arnold Glantz, Ph.D., will receive the Distinguished Career Award.
  • The Ministry of Health of the Government of Uruguay will be given the award for Exemplary Leadership by a Government Ministry.
  • The United States' Ronald M. Davis, M.D., and India's K. Srinath Reddy, M.D., D.M., M.Sc., F.A.M.S., will receive the award for Outstanding Individual Leadership.
  • The InterAmerican Heart Foundation will receive the Outstanding Organization award.
  • K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the United States will receive the award for Outstanding Research Contribution.
  • The United States' Dileep G. Bal, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., and Thailand's Hatai Chitanondh, M.D., F.I.C.S., F.R.C.S. (T.), will be given the award for Outstanding Community Service.

Stanton Arnold Glantz, Ph.D., (United States) has been a leader in tobacco control for more than 30 years and is widely recognized as one of the world's outstanding tobacco control advocates and researchers. Dr. Glantz is a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and leads the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. He is the author of three books and more than 150 scientific papers, including the first major review that identified involuntary smoking as a cause of heart disease and the landmark July 19, 1995, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that demonstrated that the tobacco industry had known for decades that nicotine was addictive and that smoking caused cancer. He has played a vital role in making tens of millions of pages of industry documents available to tobacco control and public health researchers by establishing the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library at UCSF. Dr. Glantz has truly pushed the field of tobacco control in new directions.

The Ministry of Health of the Government of Uruguay has made tremendous achievements in tobacco control and, as a result of its leadership and the commitment of the president of Uruguay, Dr. Tabar Vzquez, Uruguay became the world's first middle-income country and the first country in the Americas to adopt a comprehensive smoke-free law. Since going smoke-free on March 1, 2006, Uruguay has served as a model of successful smoke-free implementation and enforcement for countries around the world. Its tobacco control success has not been limited to smoke-free policy earlier this year Uruguay was recognized by the World Health Organization as the country with the highest degree of compliance with provisions of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Ronald M. Davis, M.D., (United States) (1956-2008) was a truly inspirational public health and tobacco control leader. As a long-time officer and, eventually, president of the American Medical Association (AMA), he was a talented physician and a tireless advocate in the fight against tobacco. Dr. Davis contributed to global tobacco control as the inaugural editor of Tobacco Control, an international peer-reviewed journal published by the British Medical Association; as the North American editor of the British Medical Journal; as the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on tobacco control; as director of the U.S. Office on Smoking and Health; and as the lead editor of the latest National Cancer Institute report on tobacco and the media. Beyond these official duties, however, Dr. Davis was a friend and mentor to innumerable tobacco control researchers and advocates around the world, through whom his influence will continue for generations.

K. Srinath Reddy M.D., D.M., M.Sc., F.A.M.S., (India) is a practicing physician and a world leader in preventive cardiology and public health. He has provided outstanding leadership in tobacco control through his work as an academic researcher and teacher, an advisor to governments, a WHO resource expert and advocate for a strong FCTC, and a public health activist. Dr. Reddy not only serves as the president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), but he has also played a major role in stimulating and supporting informed health advocacy by young people in India and around the world. He founded the HRIDAY-SHAN program, which has galvanized youth action for tobacco control in the schools and colleges of Delhi and other parts of India and the world. Given his proven ability to link research, policy development, advocacy, campaign implementation, and coalition building, Dr. Reddy has been a role model to young and experienced health professionals alike.

The InterAmerican Heart Foundation (IAHF) was established in 1992 with a focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Over the years it has honed in on the issue of tobacco control, advocating for the ratification and strong implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The IAHF has encouraged a strategic, action-oriented, and collaborative approach in the Americas, identifying and supporting local leaders, developing strategic plans, and working with local advocates to drive policy change. The organization has had a very significant influence on the region, playing a major role in the smoke-free initiatives in Mexico City and Argentina and co-organizing the first Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Latin American Conference on Tobacco Control.

K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D., M.P.H., (United States) is chair of the health behavior department and director of the Tobacco Cessation Center at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, one of the premiere tobacco control research institutions in the world. Dr. Cummings' achievements include contributions to an extensive compendium of publications, including influential chapters in two U.S. Surgeon Generals' Reports, and a role as the deputy editor of the international journal Tobacco Control from 1991 to 2004 and co-editor of a recently released International Agency for Research on Cancer handbook on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control policy evaluation. He is a dedicated researcher with the ability to translate sound science into terms that decision makers can understand and turn into action. Dr. Cummings is also a passionate advocate, famous for his powerful legislative testimony against the tobacco companies.

Dileep G. Bal, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., (United States) is known nationally and internationally as the former director and founder of California's influential and exceptionally effective Tobacco Control Program and is currently the district health officer for the Hawaii Department of Health on the island of Kauai. Under his outstanding leadership, California made tremendous progress in tobacco control, and the state's tobacco control program has emerged as a model not only for other states in the U.S. but also globally. Over the last decade, Dr. Bal has become increasingly involved in global tobacco control initiatives. In 2004 he served as an editorial advisory board member for the

Report on Tobacco Control in India, which was commissioned by the Government of India, and in 2006 he served as co-chair of the World Conference on Tobacco OR Health. He has earned a reputation for making courageous decisions and taking calculated risks to advance public health and tobacco control to unprecedented levels of effectiveness.

Hatai Chitanondh M.D., F.I.C.S., F.R.C.S. (T.), (Thailand) is the former deputy permanent secretary general of the Ministry of Public Health of the Royal Thai Government. In that position, he successfully spearheaded the effort to prevent foreign cigarettes from being imported into Thailand, resisting pressure from the U.S. Trade Representative's Office from 1988 to 1991. He continues to advise the Thai Government on tobacco control policies and government initiatives, and in 1992 he authored two comprehensive national tobacco control laws. Dr. Chitanondh is recognized in Thailand as a unique source of wisdom of the history and precedents of Thai tobacco control and as a sentinel of important opportunities for future tobacco control action and victory. Most recently, he served as chair of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control's Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa.


Contact: Andrew Becker
American Cancer Society

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