Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Leaders in the Fight to Reduce Tobacco Use

May 17, 2012


The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids tonight honors leaders in the fight against tobacco at our Youth Advocates of the Year Awards Gala, an annual celebration of progress against the world's number one cause of preventable death. We will recognize the accomplishments of outstanding young people and U.S. and international leaders in combatting tobacco use.

Dr. Howard Koh, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, and Nicola Roxon, Australia’s Attorney-General and former Health Minister, will receive our highest honor, the Champion Award. Dr. Koh has been a leader in tobacco control for the past 20 years, beginning with his early days as a clinician. His groundbreaking work has changed the way that tobacco control is conducted, and he is now leading a reinvigorated national effort to eliminate tobacco-related death and disease.

Attorney-General Roxon led the successful campaign to make Australia the first country in the world to require that all cigarettes be sold in plain, brown packaging, without colorful logos and other brand imagery. As Attorney-General, she is now leading the legal defense of the law, which the tobacco companies have challenged both in Australia's courts and in international forums as violations of trade and investment agreements.

Dr. Veronica Schoj of Argentina will be honored with the 2012 Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence for her leadership in the fight against tobacco use in Argentina and throughout Latin America.

Energetic — and incredible — youth activists from around the country who have worked in their states and communities to reduce tobacco use will be honored as our 2012 Youth Advocates of the Year.

The national award winner, Gabe Glissmeyer of Salt Lake City, is a leader in Utah's tobacco prevention program and founded Out of the Smoke, a program aimed at reducing tobacco use in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Read Gabe’s blog in Tobacco Unfiltered tomorrow!

Our youth advocates have worked to raise awareness about new, smokeless tobacco products and their packaging that entices teens; organized efforts to reduce point-of-sale marketing and testified before the Food and Drug Administration's science advisory panel on tobacco.

For example, check out this news story on Eastern regional winner Hattie Simon’s efforts to make beaches in her Maine hometown tobacco-free.