Annual Dinner Honors
Pacesetters Against Smoking
Story and Photo by Tim Boxer
M. DAVIS was a
preventive medicine physician who fought tirelessly against cigarette
consumption. His battle ended last November when he succumbed to
pancreatic cancer at age 52.
On his behalf
his wife Nadine accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
American Legacy Foundation at its sixth annual dinner at the Pierre
Hotel in New York.
with Ron every step of the way," she said, wiping away
uncontrollable tears. "His passion was tobacco control."
Legacy Foundation, now marking its tenth year, aims to educate
people, especially the young and minorities, about the many health
risks of smoking, and assist those struggling to quit. www.americanlegacy.org
Everett Koop, who made the presentation to Nadine Davis,
served as United States Surgeon General under President Ronald
Reagan in 1982-89.
"At 93 Iím
an old curmudgeon," Koop said. "I canít see well, canít
hear well, and canít walk at all, but I still have a passion for
a Public Service Award, Dr. Harold P. Freeman said smoking is
the most important public health issue in the world. He is president
and founder of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and
Prevention, based in Harlem.
C. Oz, co-chairman of cardiovascular surgery at Columbia
University, who received a Humanitarian in Medicine and Public
Health Award, couldnít understand why otherwise rational people
would do irrational things, like smoking. He said tobacco control
should target the 20-year-olds.
Dr. Oz is a
regular on the Oprah Winfrey television show where cigarette
consumption is often discussed.
approach should be with compassion," he said. "If people
think Iím of value, then Iím worthy of giving it a try, and try
Desmond-Hellman, president of product development at Genentech,
received an Innovation in Health Care Award, and Leslie Snoke,
director of Youth and Adult Services Foundation for California
Community Colleges, received a Community Activist Award.
The number of
adult smokers continues to decline, according to Dr. Cheryl G.
Healton, president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation.
"Cigarette consumption is at its lowest level since 1963."
But the battle
goes on. "We have a president [Barack Obama] who talks openly
about how hard it is to quit smoking," she said.
are in a recession and we made money with tonightís dinner,"
Healton declared. Dinner chairs were Clifford E. Douglas,
executive director of the University of Michigan tobacco research
network, and Megan Pace, director of corporate relations at