DOC (Doctors Ought to Care) was founded in 1977 by three family physicians with the aim of inspiring doctors, residents, medical students and other health professionals to play a role in public health efforts beyond their examining rooms and hospitals. As the first physician-led organization in the world dedicated to counteracting tobacco use and its promotion, DOC pioneered tobacco control strategies that were implemented by more than 120 medical schools and residency programs throughout the US and internationally, and that were adopted as “best practices” by organizations around the world. This presentation reviews the historical importance and lasting impact of grassroots activism in tobacco control, and provides specific examples of multilayered strategies for counteracting tobacco use and promotion through the clinic, classroom and community. With an emphasis on foundational knowledge and skills, individuals and organizations will learn and understand the importance of key concepts and strategies that are needed to overcome current challenges in tobacco control: organizational and public policy efforts that have had the most significant impact in tobacco control; understanding the dynamic nature of the tobacco industry and its allies; the implementation of successful paid counter-advertising campaigns; debunking common myths in tobacco control; examining the limitations of supply-side policy efforts and shifting the focus to reducing demand; and the importance of continued grassroots activism in tobacco control.
Alan Blum, MD
Founder, Doctors Ought to Care
Director, Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society
Professor and Gerald Leon Wallace, MD, Endowed Chair in Family Medicine
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa