Nov. 7 2008
Washington, DC — The nation has lost a truly inspirational public health and tobacco control leader, and many of us have lost a valued friend and colleague, in Ron Davis, M.D., who died Thursday of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Davis, the Immediate Past President of the American Medical Association, has been a tireless advocate in the fight against tobacco use, the nation's leading cause of preventable death, and was instrumental in putting the American Medical Association in the vanguard of public health groups supporting comprehensive tobacco control efforts.
From 1987-91, Dr. Davis served as Director of the Office of Smoking and Health, a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 1992, he became founding editor of Tobacco Control, a prestigious international journal published by the British Medical Association. His lifetime achievements included numerous awards for his work in tobacco control from notable organizations including the World Health Organization and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
Most recently, Dr. Davis served as the senior scientific editor for Monograph 19, The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use, a landmark National Cancer Institute report published in August 2008. Even as he battled for his own health, he played an active role in completing and disseminating this essential report on the causes of and solutions to the global tobacco epidemic. Dr. Davis also has led the American Medical Association in its support of legislation to grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco products.
We celebrate Dr. Ron Davis' many contributions to tobacco control and public health, and we fondly remember his abiding good nature and wonderful sense of humor. We are truly saddened and diminished by the loss of such a courageous and gifted man. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ron Davis' family.