In sad news, public health lost a great champion this week with the passing of Dr Nigel Gray.  Dr Gray laid the foundation for the tobacco control movement.

In a media release, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria, Mr Todd Harper, said: “Dr Gray’s visionary thinking and action would leave an indelible footprint on the public health landscape.”

“Among his list of achievements Dr Gray:

  • Galvanised cancer societies and others worldwide into campaign mode against the tobacco industry.
  • Instigated the use of forceful anti-smoking ads, and pressed for health warnings.
  • Played a crucial role in bans on tobacco advertising.
  • Helped establish robust behavioural research in both cancer and smoking, including the use of surveys.
  • Led development of the first comprehensive policy approaches to tobacco control for both the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and World Health Organization.
  • Led the first programs to promote action on tobacco globally, including in developing countries.
  • Led many other cancer control initiatives in Australia and internationally, including development of the Slip, Slop, Slap skin cancer campaigns.”

Tributes posted on Twitter included:

Rob Moodie: “Nigel Gray dies and we lose a giant of public health. His work deserves a Nobel”

Stephen Duckett: “Nigel Gray was indeed a fearless anti-tobacco fighter. Adopted policy change techniques we can still learn from”

Stephen Parnis: “Farewell Dr Nigel Gray. A Victorian public health champion”

The Age printed this tribute.

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