Nigel Gray (1928-2014)
December 21, 2014
The International Prevention Research Institute is deeply saddened by the death of Nigel Gray (on 20th December, 2014). This represents the loss of a pioneer in many aspects of Cancer Control and a close friend and colleague.
His initial medical specialization was in infectious disease and he subsequently received Honorary Degrees from Melbourne and Monash Universities. He was awarded the Order of Australia (AO) which is the highest civilian award from the Australian Government. His major career contributions have included Director Anti Cancer Council of Victoria 1968-1995; Chairman UICC Tobacco Project/program 1974-1990-organised 70 workshops, mostly in developing countries; President UICC 1994-1998; Architect of Victorian Tobacco Act 1987-originated the idea of hypothecating/earmarking taxes for Health purposes; Deputy Chair Victorian Health Promotion Foundation 1988-1995, where he successfully advocated spending tobacco taxes for health. In addition he was been a remarkable source of advice and experience in the composition of the European Tobacco Directive (2002) when he was engaged at the European Institute of Oncology. In spite of illness, he gave an outstanding presentation at the National Cancer Institute Directors Meeting in Lyon in July, 2014.
Nigel Gray requested that Peter Boyle use the following as his Obituary. Nigel found this on the web site of the Minnesota Tobacco documents (Document RP4006STMNRED/0007&fn=2023625049-Philip Morris Web Site) and is a biography written for Philip Morris (apparently in 1984).
“It is the Australian, Dr Gray, who appears to have done more than any other individual to bring the anti-tobacco movement together in an international sense, to exert pressure on governments and other influential bodies. Active in the Australian anti-smoking movement since before 1970, the experience with organising the voluntary work of the Victorian Anti Cancer Council clearly showed both the potential and the limits of national volunteer organisations (see his speech at the third World Conference). Starting with the seminal “Workshop on Smoking and Lung Cancer” in 1976 (which was the first time Gray, Daube, Bjartveit, Ramstrom and Masironi met together in a formal sense), he therefore began to work with and through the UICC as a flexible and single minded international organisation, setting in motion the chain of events which has led to the formation of an International Liaison Group on Smoking and Health with himself as Chairman. The UICC workshops were his idea, and also the Programme on Smoking and Cancer, with what are virtually regional co-ordinators for specific areas; he edited the first and second editions of “Guidelines for Smoking Control”. He has done his share of speaking at meetings, of course, but his special contribution is to organise the integration of the disparate elements of the anti-tobacco movement into the most organic whole that it could be, short of being one big centralised body.”