Professor of public health, law honored by American Public Health Association
Tobacco control expert Micah Berman, associate professor in the College of Public Health and Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, is being honored with the American Public Health Association’s annual David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health for his commitment to science-based prevention of tobacco-related illness and death.
Berman has worked on everything from local initiatives to international tobacco control policy. He has served as a senior advisor to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products and as a visiting scholar at the World Health Organization’s Center for International Cooperation on Tobacco Control.
In Ohio, he has championed laws including those limiting tobacco sales to people 21 and older and prohibiting smoking in public settings.
In their nominations, colleagues praised Berman’s commitment to advocacy, dating back to his days at Capital University Law School, where he served as the executive director of the Ohio Tobacco Public Policy Center.
“Mr. Berman has made an outstanding contribution to tobacco control and public health through his advocacy of science-based legal interventions to eliminate persistent tobacco use and tobacco-attributable health disparities. His scholarship and advocacy for legal restrictions fill a critical gap in our understanding and implementation of science-based tobacco regulatory policy,” wrote Mary Ellen Wewers, professor emerita of health behavior and health promotion at the College of Public Health.
Amy Ferketich, a professor of epidemiology in the college, highlighted Berman’s keen understanding of the need for solid science to support tobacco policy and the breadth of his work — from local tobacco control efforts to national policy debates.
“He is a known expert in the tobacco control field and he is routinely called upon to provide testimony to the state legislature on tobacco laws. He is a valued colleague because of his commitment to the best science, creativity, knowledge and insights,” she wrote.
Berman had this to say about the national honor: “Throughout my career, I’ve had the amazing privilege of working with advocates, public health professionals, researchers and governmental officials to develop and advance science-based policies that can make a difference in people’s lives. I’m humbled by this award, and the list of prior recipients gives me a lot to live up to. This award is a credit to my incredible colleagues at Ohio State, around the country and around the globe who inspire me with their tireless work to put an end to the disease and death caused by the tobacco industry and to leave the world a better place than they found it.”
This year’s American Public Health Association awards will be presented Oct. 26 during APHA’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver.