Background to the Michael Russell Award

Professor Michael Russell, a psychiatrist and research scientist, was a pioneer in the study of tobacco dependence and the development of treatments to help smokers quit. Based on the knowledge that pure nicotine carries little health risk, but is the main reason why people smoke, he advocated the development and promotion of safer nicotine products to the exclusion of cigarettes, to reduce the harm caused by ingesting the non-nicotine toxins in burning tobacco. Michael Russell is the person who did most to lay the foundations for tobacco harm reduction that drives much of the research in the field today. You can find out more about Mike Russell’s work here and here.

The Russell family has kindly agreed to the establishment of an award in Michael Russell’s memory to be presented each year at GFN. The intention of the award is to honour someone who has made a substantial and innovative contribution to the science and understanding of safer nicotine products and tobacco harm reduction. This year’s judging panel comprises Professor Ann McNeill, Professor Lynn Kozlowski, Professor Martin Jarvis and Professor Gerry Stimson.

2018 Michael Russell Award Winner was Dr Lars Ramström - see here for details

2019 Michael Russell Award nominations

The intention of the award is to honour someone who has made a substantial and innovative contribution to scientific research on safer nicotine products and tobacco harm reduction. Nominations for the award should be made by April 22 2019 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The nominations should include an explanation as to why the nominee is worthy of the award in a statement of no more than 250 words. Self-nominations are not accepted. The nominations will be assessed by an awards panel.

MR Award2019 Flyer

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  • £129
  • This fee applies to Polish delegates, living and/or working in Poland and to private individuals resident and working in middle and low-income countries (please see World Bank classifications for details). It also applies to consumers (eg vapers and snus users) who are not employed by, or representing manufacturers, vendors or trade associations, and to those who are unwaged, including students in full-time education.
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  • This fee applies to those who are employed by, or represent healthcare companies and those producing or trading in nicotine products, as well as to private consultancies and research companies.
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