Dr. Colin Mccord Obituary, Dr. Colin Mccord, Who Helped Impose A Smoking Ban, Dies At 94

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Dr. Colin Mccord Obituary, Dr. Colin Mccord, Who Helped Impose A Smoking Ban, Dies At 94

Among his accomplishments in New York City was successfully lobbying to ban smoking indoors, a move that was replicated around the world.

Dr. Colin McCord, a surgeon credited with saving countless lives by championing a draconian ban on smoking in New York City and limits on trans fats in processed foods, galvanizing improved health care for Black men in Harlem, and improving maternal and child health globally, died on March 11 at his home in Oxford, England. He was 94.

His son, Andy McCord, said the cause was congestive heart failure.

Dr. McCord, who was known as Coke, trained lay people as paraprofessional doctors and surgeons in Mozambique and other African nations decimated by the departure of medical personnel; proved the efficacy of oral rehydration to save infants stricken with diarrhea in India and Bangladesh; and helped reduce birthrates in Bangladesh by teaching women to deliver advice on contraception and reproductive health. Those international initiatives probably spared millions of lives.

Dr. McCord also exercised a profound impact on public conduct and health policy in New York City.

He successfully lobbied for a ban on smoking in workplaces, restaurants and bars while he was an assistant health commissioner in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration. The ban, which took effect in 2003, was later expanded and replicated in jurisdictions around the world.

New York had banned smoking in most restaurants in 1995, but the city continued to allow smoking in bars and the bar areas of restaurants. As the son of chain smokers who both died of cancer, Dr. McCord described himself as “the heaviest secondhand smoker in New York City.”

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