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Maxine Stitzer
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MAXINE STITZER

 

1997-1998

 

How would you characterize your presidency in terms of actions taken and decisions made?

 

My presidency took place during a somewhat stressful time when the business management of the organization was in flux. Actions taken led to the transfer of business management to our current partners, the Rees Group, Inc. (formerly

Thomas Miller Associates).

 

Were there any notable movements or events (e.g., the tobacco settlement) that affected your presidency?

 

The big news during my presidency was startup of the SRNT journal, Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Ovide Pomerleau was directly instrumental in getting this journal off the ground, including selection of Gary Swan as the first editor. This was also an exciting time on the policy front, since the suit against the tobacco companies had been successfully conceived and implemented, and the National Tobacco Settlement was being negotiated. SRNT members, headed by John Hughes, chair of the Policy Committee, went to Washington, D.C. on several occasions and were very instrumental in educating staffers on the science background of the issues involved.

 

How would you describe your presidency in terms of the overall growth and trajectory of SRNT?

 

These were the early days of the organization. Growth was steady, but the base was still small in those days (about 200, I think).

 

What do you consider your most important contribution to SRNT?

 

My post-presidency contributions. Most notably, I coordinated and headed up the first successful grant application to help support the SRNT annual meeting. More recently, I have been Chair of the Awards Committee. I hope that I have set a good example of continued involvement in the organization after the presidency has ended. That one year is very short!

 

In your opinion, what are the most notable developments in the field of nicotine and tobacco research over the past ten years?

 

OTC approval for nicotine replacement products and discovery of the first non-nicotine smoking cessation aid. On the behavior therapy side, I would have to say the growth of telephone and computerized support systems.

 

What should I have asked you that I haven’t? Please add any further comments or observations you wish.

 

A new organization always seems somewhat tentative at the start, and I was only the third president (this might be wrong- I can't quite remember the chronology, actually). But SRNT was a great idea hatched by very capable and enthusiastic people (John Hughes, Ovide Pomerleau), who put an incredible amount of sustained energy into their project from the inception, and their enthusiasm caught on and spread like a wildfire! As someone who was around from the very beginning, it has been quite gratifying to see the organization grow and thrive and to feel that I have been a small part of that success.

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