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Major award for leading Curtin tobacco campaigner

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Curtin University of Technology’s Professor of Health Policy, Professor Mike Daube, has received a prestigious award recognising his 40-year commitment to reducing tobacco consumption.

He received the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand’s President’s Award at their annual scientific meeting in Brisbane this week.

The award is presented annually to individuals who have made a significant contribution to respiratory medicine.

Thoracic Society President Professor Phillip Thompson said: “I cannot think of a better choice for this award than Professor Daube.

“He has spent most of his adult working life campaigning for reduced tobacco consumption and has taken a leading role in tobacco control nationally and internationally. His campaigns have set the benchmark for modern public health advocacy.”

Professor Daube is the Director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA, based at Curtin. He is also the President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health and the Public Health Association of Australia, Deputy Chair of the Federal Government’s National Preventative Health Taskforce and one of a few worldwide involved in the Bloomberg initiative to stop smoking in developing countries.

“Mike Daube is the epitome of a public health advocate and is a shining example for those committed to improving our nation’s health,” Professor Thompson said.

Professor Daube said he was honoured to receive the award.

“I could not appreciate this award more, coming as it does from those who deal on a daily basis with the consequences of smoking,” he said.

“I am very conscious that it recognises the contributions of all those with whom I have had the privilege of working to reduce smoking.

“Tobacco smoking has fallen dramatically, but not fast enough.

“Cigarettes still kill 14,000 Australians each year and cause 20 per cent of Aboriginal deaths.

“We can be proud of the achievements of tobacco control, but we cannot afford any complacency.

“It is enormously frustrating that we have still failed to convince governments and others to take the action we know can prevent tens of thousands of early deaths as well as so much needless suffering.

“It is now time not only for hard action in areas such as tax and public education, but to set a timeline for the phasing out of the commercial tobacco industry.

“This dinosaur industry has had its day, selling and promoting a product it knows will kill one in two of its regular users.

“If we make a commitment to phasing out the industry, there will be no serious opposition to the action we need to make Australia tobacco-free.”

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