Chuck Crawford

2007 American Lung Association/C. Everett Koop Unsung Hero Award Recipient

The 2007 American Lung Association/C. Everett Koop Unsung Hero Award will be presented to Chuck Crawford, PhD.  Dr. C. Everett Koop, who hailed Dr. Crawford as a tobacco control role model for the business community, personally submitted Dr. Crawford's nomination. 

Fourteen years ago, Dr. Crawford implemented one of the earliest tobacco-free workplace policies, protecting workers at Kimball Physics, Inc, a New Hampshire-based manufacturer of scientific instruments, from the dangers of secondhand smoke.  He recognized the dangers associated with prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke and realized that he could not allow his employees' health to be jeopardized.

The policy Dr. Crawford put into place forbids the use of tobacco on the entire Kimball Physics campus, including employee parking lots, company buildings and vehicles.  While it is increasingly common for corporations to enact such policies today, this was a groundbreaking decision to make in 1993.  And Dr. Crawford – whose concern for the health of his employees extended to non-work hours – took the extra step of encouraging smokers in his employ to quit by offering a financial incentive.

The pioneering policy is now part of the Kimball Physics culture.  Today, employees of Kimball Physics are proud of their tobacco-free workplace – in large part because they worked closely with Dr. Crawford to develop, approve and enforce the policy. 

The benefits of this policy extend far beyond the health and well being of employees.  Kimball Physics enjoys health care costs below average for a company of its size – no small feat in this day of ever-increasing health care costs.  The policy has been a positive recruitment tool for attracting new employees and morale, as well as quality of life, has improved for everyone – including former smokers. 

Dr. Crawford is tireless in his efforts to make tobacco control everyone's goal. He shares the policy's successes and merits with partners and vendors in hopes of encouraging more businesses to follow in Kimball Physics' footsteps. 

In his nomination of Dr. Crawford, Dr. Koop wrote that he hopes Dr. Crawford's innovative behavior might influence other business leaders to partner with employees in enacting similar tobacco-free workplace policies.  We couldn't agree more and hope that naming Dr. Chuck Crawford the 2007 recipient of American Lung Association/C. Everett Koop Unsung Hero Award will encourage others to follow in Dr. Crawford's footsteps