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WHILE the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is renowned for his Faust and other literary works, few people know that he was an ardent crusader against active and passive smoking.
The establishment of the Goethe Challenge Trophy, presented this year to the American Medical Association (AMA) for its leadership in the war against the tobacco pandemic, has focused attention on that obscure aspect of the poet-philosopher's multiple interests.
At a ceremony in October at AMA headquarters in Chicago, Ill, Frank Montgomery, MD, vice president of the German Medical Association, presented the trophy—a 42-lb silver bust of Goethe—to the Association along with a framed citation.
"This trophy was commissioned to be awarded annually to an institution that has excelled in promoting a smoke-free environment, especially among health care professionals, thus making an example for society at large," he said.
The Goethe Challenge Trophy was established by Friedrich Portheine, MD,
Skolnick AA. AMA Gets Goethe Trophy for Antismoking Efforts. JAMA. 1996;276(20):1630. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540200016007