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  1. Saul Shiffman
  1. Smoking Research Group, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

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Let me welcome you all here on behalf of the planning committee. It is nice to see a year’s worth of planning realised in a day and a half.

It is an axiom that it helps you to get there if you know where you are going, and in the smoking control area, the federal government’s Year 2000 goals have given us a sense of where we need to be headed. But if you have ever tried to find your way in a big shopping mall, it turns out it also helps you to get there if you know where you are.

So the next two talks will provide the “You are here” sign for us. Tracy Orleans and John Pinney will talk about where we currently are in smoking control efforts, and then we will move on to our panel discussion. Let me introduce our presenters and panelists.

Tracy Orleans is director of tobacco control research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, and is also vice president of Research and Development for the Health Management Division of Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems. In 1994, Dr Orleans was awarded the American Society of Preventive Oncology’s Joseph W Cullen Award for her work in tobaeco control, and she has also recently co-edited with John Slade a comprehensive textbook on the treatment of nicotine addiction.

John Pinney is chief executive officer of Corporate Health Policies Group, Inc (CHPG), a health care consulting firm specialising in issues of health promotion and disease prevention. CHPG, in fact, serves as the secretariat for the conference. John had a very important historical role. He was the first director of the Office on Smoking and Health under Secretary Califano, whom we shall be hearing from shortly. He was also executive director of the Institute for the Study of Smoking Behavior and Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and is known to many of us as a long time smoking policy wonk.

Next, our panelists. Diane Becker is currently director of the Center for Health Promotion at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. There she directs research and programmes to define effective health promotion interventions especially targeted to African-American communities, and she has been active with the American Heart Association in formulating their position on smoking.

Joyce Essien is director of the Center for Public Health Practice, and a visiting associate professor of Health Policy and Management at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

She previously held several director positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There, she worked on strategies to improve the effectiveness of public health organisations and to facilitate technology transfer of prevention technology into practice.

Finally, Corinne Husten is a medical officer with the Office on Smoking and Health of the CDC. She is a physician certified in both family practice and preventive medicine and was previously a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute following a career in private practice.