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Chief medical officers: the need for public health at the heart of government

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f688 (Published 05 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f688

Re: Chief medical officers: the need for public health at the heart of government

Gabriel Scally rightly praises Liam Donaldson for using the role of Chief Medical Officer to pressure the Government to act on smoking, but is wrong in stating that this "broke new ground".

The ground was well and truly broken by perhaps the greatest of all Chief Medical Officers, Sir George Godber (1960 - 73), of whose comments about smoking the Times reported that, "Sir George Godber has embarrassed the Government about as much as a civil servant can”.

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 February 2013
Mike Daube
Professor of Health Policy
Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845
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