California Tobacco Control Advocate Receives National Staff Leadership Award for Excellence in Public Policy Designed to End Cancer

Jim Knox is Recipient of the Alan Mills Award from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

September 9, 2019

Washington, D.C. –  Jim Knox, managing director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) California, was awarded the Alan Mills Award by ACS CAN for his outstanding dedication to reducing the cancer burden caused by tobacco use in California.

The Alan Mills Award recognizes an ACS CAN staff person who has consistently demonstrated leadership and excellence in the areas of advocacy and public policy. This award is the highest honor for ACS CAN staff and is presented in recognition of an individual's exceptional contributions and service to ACS CAN’s mission and advocacy work.

“Jim is a talented, passionate advocate who has worked tirelessly on behalf of those impacted by cancer,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “He has effected groundbreaking public policy change to advance our mission against cancer, and we are incredibly grateful to have Jim dedicated to our mission through his work as a true public health champion and leader.”

During his 15-year career with the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN, Jim has been instrumental in advancing groundbreaking tobacco control legislation throughout California, including successful campaigns in the San Francisco Bay Area to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes; Proposition 56 that enacted the largest tobacco tax increase in the nation’s history and tripled funding for the state tobacco control program; and expanding ACS CAN’s electoral program, Cancer Votes, to ensure cancer policy is a talked about issue in candidate debates. He also oversaw the creation of the ongoing Snuff Tobacco Money Out of California Politics campaign that gives transparency to the flow of tobacco money used to influence lawmakers.

The award was presented on Sept. 8 in Washington, D.C., as part of the annual ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day. Nearly 700 cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones traveled to the nation’s capital to meet with their elected officials and urge them to make cancer a national priority.

“It is with great humility and honor that I accept the Alan Mills Award. Alan’s legacy is is tremendous and, gratefully, I was able to get to know him in person, which only heightened my respect for him,” said Knox after accepting the award. “Our dedicated ACS CAN volunteer advocates and staff share this award with me. It is as a result of their tireless work and passionate purpose that California became a national leader in tobacco control. Our fight to protect the next generation from a potential lifetime addiction to tobacco continues and this award only serves to embolden our efforts.”

On behalf of all families touched by cancer, ACS CAN celebrates Jim’s extraordinary energy and commitment to work every day to end suffering and death from this disease.



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

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