Legacy Foundation Honors UCSF Tobacco Researcher

By UCSF Today | July 14, 2006

Ruth E. Malone, RN, PhD, a professor of nursing and health policy in the UCSF School of Nursing's Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, is one of three individuals honored for their use of tobacco industry documents to educate the public about tactics that tobacco companies have employed to attract and addict smokers to tobacco products.

Malone, a member of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, and her team at UCSF use the information as a powerful tool to reach underserved communities that have been targeted by the tobacco industry, including African Americans, gays and lesbians, and the severely mentally ill and homeless populations. Their innovative work with the documents has been widely used by public health advocates and published in American Journal of Public Health, Tobacco Control, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Academic Medicine, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Social Science & Medicine, and other major professional journals.

"There are some who see research using these documents as mere historical exercise," Malone said. "But they give us a window into the way this industry operates that we have never had before. The public still is not aware of the full extent of the tobacco industry's corporate misconduct. Once people see the industry's record with their own eyes, they want to do the right thing."

(Note that in November 2007 the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center was renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.)

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