American Lung Association Honors Tobacco Control Pioneer Whose Work Saved Millions of Lives

Today, the American Lung Association announced that it will honor the memory of Simon McNabb with the 2021 C. Everett Koop Unsung Hero Award. McNabb, who passed away in February 2021, was recognized for the remarkable contributions he made to significantly reducing tobacco use in our nation.

“Simon’s efforts to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure have undoubtedly saved millions of lives,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “His passion to improve public health inspired everyone who worked alongside him throughout this career. He had an incredible ability to bring together non-governmental and governmental organizations from across the country to help develop and implement meaningful tobacco control strategies. He was truly an inspiration for many, and he is missed greatly.”

McNabb had a diverse career in public service that includes positions at the International City Managers Association, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

At the EPA, he led the agency’s secondhand smoke efforts and helped design their Smoke-Free Homes Campaign. When he moved to the CDC, he served as a Senior Advisor at the Policy, Planning and Coordination Unit within the Office on Smoking and Health, where he played a key role in the implementation and development of guidelines and recommendations for the prevention of tobacco use.

McNabb helped develop and release Surgeon General Reports, including the landmark 2014 50th anniversary report. He 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 Department of Housing and Urban Development’s smokefree housing rule.

Since 2000, the American Lung Association’s annual C. Everett Koop Unsung Hero Award honors an individual who works to change policy to prevent kids from starting and help tobacco users quit. These unsung heroes are the ones who make a tobacco-free future possible by working to end the tobacco epidemic. McNabb’s life’s work inspired many and touched an untold number of lives.

Learn more about the C. Everett Koop Unsung Hero Award here.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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