Judith Mackay

Senior Advisor, Tobacco Control, Policy, Advocacy and Communication

Vital Strategies


Dr. Judith Mackay is a medical graduate from Edinburgh University, Scotland. She has lived in Hong Kong since 1967, initially working as a hospital physician, then since 1984 concentrating on public health, especially tobacco control. She is Senior Advisor, Vital Strategies; Senior Policy Advisor to World Health Organisation; and Director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control. Her particular interest is tobacco control in low-income countries; and tobacco and women. She has developed extensive experience in working with national governments and health organizations in Asia and more recently in the Middle East in developing comprehensive tobacco control policies. She has published over 230 academic papers and addressed over 550 conferences world‑wide. She has authored or co-authored several health atlases, crafting complicated health statistics into a creative graphic format: “The State of Health Atlas” (1994), “The Penguin Atlas of Human Sexual Behavior” (2000), “The Tobacco Atlas” (WHO 2002, ACS 2006, ACS 2009, ACS 2012, ACS/WLF 2015), “The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke” (WHO, 2004),“The Cancer Atlas” (ACS 2006), “Global Tobacco Surveillance: GTSS Atlas” (CDC 2009), “The Atlas of Oral Health” (FDI 2009), and “The GATS Atlas” (CDC 2015). HONOURS AND AWARDS She has received the WHO Commemorative Medal, the APACT Presidential and Founding International Achievement Award, and national awards from Hong Kong (the Silver Bauhinia Star); the United Kingdom (MBE, then OBE); the United States of America (the US Surgeon General's Medallion), Thailand (the King's Royal Award); and China. From the USA in 2000, she received the Luther Terry Award for Outstanding Individual Leadership, and the Fries Prize. In 2006, she received the INWAT (International Network of Women Against Tobacco) Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, she was selected by Time Magazine as one of 60 Asian Heroes from the previous 60 years; in 2007 selected as one of the Time 100 World’s Most Influential People, and in 2009 received the first-ever British Medical Journal Group Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018 she was the recipient of the Inaugural World Heart Federation Advocacy Award in Cardiovascular Health. She has been identified by the tobacco industry as one of the three most dangerous people in the world.