In the week that the standardised tobacco packaging regulations passed into law, the UK Department of Health has been recognised as an International Tobacco Control Leader by the American Cancer Society.
During the 2015 Luther L. Terry Awards ceremony at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health taking place in Abu Dhabi, the Department of Health will receive the award for Exemplary Leadership in Tobacco Control.
The Luther L. Terry Award recognises outstanding global achievement in the field of tobacco control in six categories: outstanding individual leadership, outstanding organization, outstanding research contribution, exemplary leadership by a government ministry, distinguished career, and outstanding community service.
This prestigious triennial award by the American Cancer Society honours the UK as a world leader in tobacco control, alongside previous award winners such as Australia, Uruguay, South Africa and the Republic of Ireland. It is the commitment shown by successive UK governments, supported by Parliamentarians, which provides the foundation for this award.
Over the past decade, the Department of Health has steered through important tobacco control legislation including smokefree public places, stopping smoking in cars with children, ending tobacco displays in shops and standardised packaging of tobacco products.
Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy for ASH said:
“The steady decline in smoking in England is a tribute to the commitment of the Department of Health to tackle the biggest preventable cause of disease and premature death. The UK is now acknowledged as one of the world leaders of tobacco control. We hope this well-deserved award will inspire the next Government to commit to a new, and even more ambitious, tobacco control strategy.”
John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society said:
“Tobacco-related diseases are the most preventable cause of death worldwide, responsible for the deaths of approximately half of all long-term tobacco users. We are pleased to recognize these exemplary individuals and organizations who carry on the noble and incredibly important work of ending the deadly spread of tobacco around the globe.”
The awards are named after the late United States Surgeon General Luther L. Terry, M.D., who led the landmark 1964 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, which identified tobacco use as a cause of lung cancer and other illnesses. This report, coupled with the UK Royal College of Physicians Report in 1962, marked a turning point in addressing the global threat of tobacco use and disease, and has ushered in an era in which smoke-free environments, higher tobacco taxes, more tobacco dependence treatment, severe restrictions on tobacco advertising, and graphic warning labels on tobacco packages are becoming more commonplace.
The award nominations were reviewed by an international selection committee of previous Luther L. Terry Award winners, including: Dileep G. Bal, MD, MS, MPH, United States; Beatriz M. Champagne, PhD, Mexico; Hatai Chitanondh, MD, FICS, FRCS, Thailand; Michael Cummings, PhD, MPH, United States; Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, United States; Professor Mike Daube, Australia; Deborah Arnott, MBA, United Kingdom; Martin Raw, PhD, United Kingdom, Yussuf Saloojee, PhD, South Africa; Prabhat Jha, MD, DPhil, Canada; Melanie Wakefield, PhD, Australia; Mira Aghi, PhD, India; and Stan Shatenstein, Canada. The effort was chaired by Jacqui Drope, and Andrea Lancaster, MPH, as executive director.
According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use killed 100 million people in the 20th century and will kill 1 billion people in the 21st century if current trends continue. Each year, tobacco use is responsible for almost 6 million premature deaths, 80 percent of which are in low- and middle-income countries. By 2030, this number is expected to increase to 8 million.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. during the past two decades, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates.
Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash
ASH receives core funding from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.