2021 C. Everett Koop Unsung Heroes Award
Simon McNabb is the 2021 C. Everett Koop-American Lung Association Unsung Hero Award recipient. Simon, who passed away in February 2021, made remarkable contributions in changing policy to prevent kids from consuming tobacco products and to help those who are addicted to tobacco. His contributions as a public servant working for the federal government saved millions of lives nationally and internationally.
Simon began his public health career in the late 1980s working on radon risk reduction in Nashville, Tennessee. He also played a promising role as an indoor environment program manager at the International City Managers Association. In 1997, he joined the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he led the agency’s secondhand smoke efforts and helped to design their Smoke-Free Homes Campaign.
Simon moved on to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he served as a Senior Advisor at the Policy, Planning and Coordination Unit within the Office on Smoking and Health. He played a key role in the implementation and development of guidelines and recommendations for the prevention of tobacco use. Simon helped develop and release Surgeon General Reports, including the landmark 2014 50th anniversary report as well as reports on youth tobacco use and on secondhand smoke.
Simon worked closely with the Surgeon General and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help coordinate the Department’s tobacco control activities. He is one of the authors of the HHS Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan. He also played an explicit role in the implementation of tobacco control policies and the adoption of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Smoke-Free Housing Rule.
His efforts to reduce the use of tobacco as well as the exposure to secondhand smoke have undoubtedly saved millions of lives. He encouraged and inspired his colleagues to become better advocates and was successful in bridging the gap between non-governmental and governmental organizations. He was truly an inspiration for many and he is missed greatly.
Page last updated: August 31, 2021