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.