Below are some of the past Torch Award honorees:
In 2006 the PACT Coalition (Protecting All Californians from Tobacco) began hosting an evening Meet & Greet in conjunction with our annual Capitol Information & Education Days. At the event the receipients of the annual Torch Award are honored. The Torch Award is given annually to a person(s) and/or agency who has demonstrated a high level of accomplishment and dedication to reducing the impact of tobacco in California.
In 2006 the Meet & Greet, called “Honoring Our Champions, Remembering Our Heroes,” included a moving tribute to the late Marco Firebaugh, who was a dedicated tobacco control advocate. In addition the event presented awards to five legislative champions: Assembly Members Fran Pavley, Paul Koretz, and Juan Vargas and Senators Deborah Ortiz and Wesley Chesbro.
In 2007 the Torch Award was given to a number of legislators who had signed the PACT Resolution supporting California’s Master Plan for Tobacco Control as well for their ongoing efforts throughout the 2005-2006 legislative session to promote and strengthen California’s tobacco control program. During the 2007 Meet & Greet, three legislators were honored - Sheila Kuehl, Wes Chesbro and Judy Chu.
In 2008 the Torch Award was given to two tobacco control champions. Senator Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach) was honored for her landmark public health legislation, Senate Bill 7, which prohibited smoking in cars with minors. Mary Nichols was honored on behalf of the California Air Resources Board for its ground-breaking efforts that culminated in identifying environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as a Toxic Air Contaminant in January 2006.
In 2009 the Torch Award was given to Dr. Ken Kizer. On the 20th anniversary of Proposition 99, Dr. Kizer was honored for his work when Proposition 99 was being implemented. From 1985 to 1991, he was Director of the California Department of Health Services and California's top health official.