WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Honorable Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Missouri's 55th Governor, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Legacy, the national, independent public health foundation dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit.
"We're honored to welcome Governor Nixon to the Legacy Board," said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, Board chair. "He is a respected, long-time public servant dedicated to improving public health, and we look forward to his leadership and expertise."
"Governor Nixon is one of the original signatories of the landmark 1998 Master settlement Agreement (MSA) between the tobacco companies and the states, which created Legacy," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. "The work of the attorneys general paved the way for more than a decade of public health successes in tobacco control that continues today, and I am confident the board will benefit from Governor Nixon's passion for protecting youth and public health."
Governor Nixon is serving his first term as Missouri's Governor. Prior to his election in 2008, Nixon served four terms as attorney general, focusing on consumer protection and health care fraud. One of his most successful programs was the state's No-Call List, protecting millions of families from unwanted telemarketing calls which has served as a model for the rest of the nation.
"Teen smoking is no longer declining and continues to be a national public health problem," Gov. Nixon said. "Because the vast majority of adult smokers began as teens, focusing on preventing teen smoking can have a tremendous impact on adult smoking trends and the incidence of smoking-related illnesses like cancer and heart disease. I look forward to serving on the Legacy board to help Americans live longer, healthier lives."
Governor Nixon was previously a state senator in Missouri representing Jefferson County from 1986 to 1992 where he worked to expand pre-natal care for expectant mothers. Governor Nixon earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Governor Nixon and his wife, Georganne Wheeler Nixon, have two sons, Jeremiah and Willson. They belong to the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson City.
Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the national public health organization helps Americans live longer, healthier lives. Legacy develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation's programs include truth®, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as having contributed to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit http://www.legacyforhealth.org/.