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Celebrating Our 17TH Year!

Official Magazine of the Next 15 Minutes




Tim Boxer's
Main Event


18th Annual Dinner Honors
Pacesetters Against Smoking

Story and Photo by Tim Boxer

ONALD 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.

"I was with Ron every step of the way," she said, wiping away uncontrollable tears. "His passion was tobacco control."

The American 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

Dr. C. 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 tobacco control."

Upon accepting 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.

Dr. Mehmet 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.

"Our approach should be with compassion," he said. "If people think Iím of value, then Iím worthy of giving it a try, and try to quit."

Dr. Susan 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.

"Here we 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 Genentech.


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