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  1. John M Pinney
  1. Corporate Health Policies Group, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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It gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce Dr Michael McGinnis. He and I go back a number of years. Dr McGinnis is Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services. He chaired the 1977-78 Secretary’s Task Force on Smoking and Health. Among his many contributions to disease prevention is the landmark Surgeon General’s report on prevention, Healthy People. He and I shared the experience of developing reports under Mr Califano, who was Secretary at the time, and both of us, I think, can relate stories about being awakened late and early by Mr Califano or some of his minions wanting to know whether or not we were doing the job we were expected to do.

I think it’s appropriate that the topic is the financing issues around smoking cessation. Dr McGinnis has been working for many years to integrate preventive services into all categories and channels of health care delivery, and I think we’re at a very important moment in the health care reform effort. Decisions will soon be made about how health care will be structured and paid for and delivered, and clearly smoking cessation, at least most of us believe, has a rightful place in that scenario.

So it gives me great pleasure to introduce Dr Michael McGinnis to talk about financing issues. Thank you.

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