Story posted July 24, 2003
Dr. Michael Fiore, a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1976, has been selected as one of five recipients of the Innovators Award, presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The award recognizes Fiore's national leadership in promoting tobacco cessation.
Fiore is professor of medicine and director of the University of Wisconsin's Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention. The award, akin to the MacArthur Fellows Program, recognizes past achievement and provides the recipient with a stipend of $300,000 for up to three years of future work combating substance abuse on a national level.
Fiore is a recognized national leader in treating tobacco dependence. Among his many accomplishments, Fiore has helped physicians across America to understand tobacco dependence as a chronic disease. He spearheaded a campaign to establish smoking status as a vital sign in patientsí charts and to develop real-world strategies for treatment that doctors can incorporate in their day-to-day practice.
Fiore was the coauthor of the 1989 report of the Surgeon General summarizing 25 years of progress on addressing tobacco use and treatment needs. In 2000, Fiore chaired the panel which produced the U. S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. The guideline is considered the gold standard for health care providers for tobacco use treatment.
Fiore will use the award to promote the recommendations of the National Action Plan for Tobacco Cessation, which he recently helped develop as chair of the Subcommittee on Cessation of the Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson appointed Fiore chair of this Subcommittee in 2002. The plan calls for the establishment of a federally funded national tobacco quitline, an ongoing media campaign to help Americans quit, evidence-based counseling and medications for tobacco cessation, research on the effectiveness of tobacco treatment programs, and training and education for clinicians. A Smokers Health Fund, established through a $2 per pack excise tax increase, would pay for this ambitious initiative.
Innovators Combating Substance Abuse is a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that recognizes and rewards those who have made substantial, innovative contributions of national significance in the field of substance abuse. The program addresses problems related to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, through education, advocacy, treatment and policy research and reform at the national, state and local levels. The Innovators program is run by a national program office at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.