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Dr Anna Gilmore
Dr Anna Gilmore

Press Release - 26 June 2008

Bath academic wins award from World Health Organisation

Dr Anna Gilmore, an expert in tobacco control at the University of Bath, has won a prestigious World Health Organisation (WHO) award.

Each year, the WHO rewards individuals and organisations for their remarkable commitment and contribution towards a tobacco-free Europe. Dr Gilmore’s award was given in recognition of her: “outstanding efforts in [the] research of tobacco control and tobacco industry strategies in Europe.”

Anna was nominated for the World No Tobacco Day Medal by the International Network of Women Against Tobacco (INWAT) in recognition of the important contribution her work has made to tobacco control through her ability to combine important scientific results with political messages.

Dr Gilmore is a Clinical Reader in Public Health in the University’s School for Health and a Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Since 2006, her research has been supported by a prestigious Health Foundation Clinician Scientist Fellowship.

She has published extensive research on a number of topics, including smoking trends and tobacco industry activity in Russia and Eastern Europe, where her results show dramatic increases in the number of women smokers.

Dr Gilmore found that the number of Russian women who smoke has more than doubled since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and blames the privatisation of the previously state-owned tobacco companies and the behaviour of the transnational tobacco companies.

Between 1992 and 2000, tobacco companies such as Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International invested approximately US$1.7 billion to gain a 60 per cent share of the privatised Russian tobacco market. Tobacco advertising had simply not existed in the Soviet era. Yet as soon at the major companies were there, it was rampant, Dr Gilmore found.

Her research has: provided the first accurate data about the increased prevalence of smoking in Russia and other Eastern European countries, has raised awareness internationally of the dangers of tobacco industry privatisation, and has stimulated moves to improve tobacco control in this region.

Her work has also been important elsewhere. In Germany, for example, her work with collaborators highlighted the tobacco industry’s extensive influence over research and stimulated new policies that will reduce the industry’s ability to fund research.

She said: “It’s a great honour for my research and its contribution to policy to be recognised in this way. I am very grateful to the WHO for this award, to INWAT for nominating me and to all the wonderful researchers I have worked alongside, whose work is also recognised in this award.”

Dr Gilmore qualified in medicine in London in 1991. Following stints working in a refugee camp in Nepal and a community hospital in India, she trained in public health before joining the staff at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. In 2007, she took up post at the University Of Bath.

At the University, Dr Gilmore is a founding member of the Tobacco Control Research Group which, along with collaborators in six other universities led by the University of Nottingham, recently secured £5 million funding to establish a UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies. The centre aims to identify and develop opportunities to reduce the burden of disease and disability caused by tobacco use. Dr Gilmore’s current work, which is supported by the Health Foundation, focuses on UK tobacco control policy and tobacco industry influence in Europe.


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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