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Judith Mackay

Judith Mackay

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Aristotle says there is no action without desire, for it is desire that causes us to act. An individual's actions, therefore, reveal much about what, quite literally, moves her. When looking at the actions of Judith Mackay, it is clear that she is moved by a profound desire to do good for others and that this desire has defined the course of her life. It led her to become first a practicing physician and then, since 1984, a tireless tobacco-control advocate.

Realizing that eliminating ignorance can be more effective in mitigating disease than merely prescribing medicine, Mackay, 63, a British-born doctor who has lived in Hong Kong for the past 40 years, began to arm others, particularly those in Asia, where smoking rates are still high, with information about the health risks of tobacco use. As senior policy adviser to the World Health Organization, she is a chief architect of the 2003 Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which recognizes tobacco use as a global problem that all governments have a moral duty to address. And her book The Tobacco Atlas educates legislators and other officials so that they can, in turn, provide their citizens with knowledge that will enable them to lead happy, healthy lives and their societies to flourish. Mackay's desire, conviction and personal charm are transforming the relationship that nations around the world have with tobacco.

Wigand, a former tobacco-industry executive, publicly exposed the industry's disregard for health in 1995

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