D. Douglas Blanke

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

For the past twenty years Doug Blanke has been a strong voice in tobacco control and consumer rights.  As the Director of Consumer Policy and Tobacco at the Attorney Generals' office in Minnesota, Doug was one of the architects of the historic tobacco litigation.  Unwilling to back down under significant tobacco industry pressure, Doug and his team forced the industry to agree to a settlement that included the strongest public health provisions in the nation.  After leaving public service, Doug continued his fight against the tobacco industry.  Doug is nationally recognized as a leading legal expert on tobacco control issues and through his technical assistance has helped many local communities in their legal battle to go smokefree. 

Doug's work does not stop at United States borders.  Doug played a key role in advocating for a strong and effective Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.  Doug efforts helped secure language in the treaty to assist countries in using the legal system to hold the tobacco industry accountable.  Doug has served on the staff of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Blue Ribbon Inquiry into Tobacco Industry Activities Committee and was the primary author of WHO's "Tobacco Control Legislation: An Introductory Guide."  Currently, Doug is the Director of the Tobacco Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Doug is an inspiration to many in the tobacco control arena and the American Lung Association and the C. Everett Koop Foundation are proud to give him this much deserved recognition.