Campus & Community

HSPH awards attorneys general for anti-tobacco fight

2 min read

After recently calling for a renewed national effort against a persistent smoking threat, the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) will take the occasion of its annual Julius B. Richmond Award (to be given today, Oct. 28) to confer its highest honor on three state attorneys general and on an advocate for children who successfully fought the biggest tobacco companies. Through their efforts, the largest civil settlement in history – the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 – was reached. This agreement severely limited the tobacco industry’s advertising, marketing, and lobbying activities, and required tobacco companies to pay states more than $200 billion through 2025.

HSPH will also honor the scientist who established the link between passive smoke and lung cancer in nonsmokers.

The Richmond Award recognizes individuals who carry forth the vision of former U.S. Surgeon General Julius B. Richmond, the John D. Macarthur Professor of Health Policy and Management, who provided innovative leadership to protect the most vulnerable populations and was the first national director of the Head Start Program.

The Julius B. Richmond Award ceremony will be broadcast over the Web today (Oct. 28) at 5 p.m.

Among the Richmond honorees are former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, who, in 1994, filed the first lawsuit by a state against the tobacco companies; Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire and former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, who played key national leadership roles; and Matthew Myers of the National Center for Tobacco Free Kids, who played a pivotal advisory role. Ultimately, 46 states jointly settled lawsuits with the four largest tobacco companies, and four other states settled separately.

Also receiving a Richmond Award is Dimitrios Trichopoulos, the Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention at HSPH, who published a groundbreaking study demonstrating that passive smoke was associated with increased lung cancer risk in nonsmokers.