Simon Chapman

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Simon Fenton Chapman, AO (born 14 December 1951) is an Australian academic and tobacco control activist.

Life and career

Chapman was born in Bowral, New South Wales to Margaret and Alec Chapman who had emigrated from England in 1948. He is an Emeritus Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney.[1] In his PhD in social medicine he examined the semiotics of cigarette advertising.[2] He has authored 21 books and major reports, 340 papers and editorials, and 194 letters and commentaries in peer reviewed journals.

Chapman is a regular writer on public health matters in leading Australian newspapers and blogs, having written some 407 opinion page and journalistic articles since 1981.[3] His main research interests are in tobacco control, media discourses on health and illness, and risk communication. He taught annual courses in Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control in the University of Sydney's MPH program. He wrote a regular column, Smoke Signals, on public health matters for The Conversation from January 2015-August 2017 which by December 2019 had been read 3.338 million times. He blogs at

In 1997 Chapman won the World Health Organization's World No Tobacco Day Medal; in 1999, the National Heart Foundation of Australia's gold medal; in 2006 the Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand President's Award.[4] In 2003 he was voted by his international peers to be awarded the American Cancer Society's Luther L. Terry Award for outstanding individual leadership in tobacco control.[5] In 2005, his research on the tobacco industry was selected by the National Health and Medical Research Council as being one of its "top 10" projects. He was foundational deputy editor of the British Medical Journal's specialist journal, Tobacco Control, and its editor from 1999 to 2008. He was Tobacco Control's commissioning editor for Low and Middle Income Countries from 2008–2010 and is now editor emeritus.

Chapman studied health complaints regarding wind farms in Australia in 2012 and concluded the complaints were likely to be the result of nocebo effects.[6][7]

In 2008 he was awarded the $50,000 NSW Premier's award for Cancer Researcher of the Year, voted to become a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, won the Public Health Association of Australia's Sidney Sax medal,[8] and was included in the wikipedia:Sydney Morning Herald's Sydney Magazine list of 100 of Sydney's most influential people. He appeared in that magazine's list again in 2012. In 2013 he was given a Distinguished Professorial Award by the faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney and made an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians (UK).

Simon Chapman is a life member of the Australian Consumers' Association and was its chairman 1999–2002. He served on the board of The Cancer Council New South Wales for nine years until 2006. He was a key member of the Coalition for Gun Control which won the 1996 Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's Community Human Rights award for its advocacy for gun law reform after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. The Australian Skeptics Inc conferred on him the award of Australian Skeptic of the Year in 2013.[9]

He was a staff elected Fellow of Senate,[10] at the University of Sydney from 2007–2011. He was a board member of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) from 1996–2013.

He was lead singer with a Sydney-based rock covers band, the Original Faux Pas,[11] from 2007–2012 and then with The Bleeding Hearts.[12]

In November 2019, he directed the inaugural St. Anmoré (Stanmore) Festival of Music to honour the late conductor and musical educator Richard Gill AO

He tweets @simonchapman6.[13]

Chapman was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia on 10 June 2013.[14]

He retired in January 2016 and was awarded Emeritus Professor status by the University of Sydney commencing 2016.[15]

In December 2017, Public Health England accused him of presenting factual errors during a Federal Government Enquiry[16] His full reply to these claims was published in Hansard (submission 313.1[17]

Selected books

  • Chapman, S. (2017) Wind turbine syndrome: a communicated disease. (Sydney, Sydney University Press)[18]
  • Chapman, S. (2016) Smoke signals: selected writing. (Sydney, Darlington Press)[19]
  • Chapman, S, Freeman B. (2014) Removing the emperor's clothes: tobacco plain packaging in Australia. (Sydney, Sydney University Press)[20]
  • Chapman, S, Barratt A, Stockler M.(2010) Let sleeping dogs lie? What men should know before getting tested for prostate cancer. (Sydney, Sydney University Press)[21]
  • Chapman, S. (2007) Public health advocacy and tobacco control: making smoking history (Oxford, Blackwell)
  • Chapman, S. (1998) Over our dead bodies: Port Arthur and Australia's fight for gun control (Sydney, Pluto Press). Reprinted 2013 by Sydney University Press[22]
  • Chapman, S. (1995) The last right?: Australians take sides on the right to die (Sydney: Mandarin)
  • Chapman, S. & Lupton, D. (1994) The fight for public health: principles and practice of media advocacy (London, BMJ).
  • Chapman, S. (1990) Tobacco in the third world: a resource atlas (International Organisation of Consumers' Unions).
  • Chapman, S. (1986) Great expectorations: advertising and the tobacco industry (London: Comedia).
  • Chapman, S. (1983) The lung goodbye: tactics for counteracting the tobacco industry in the 1980s (International Organisation of Consumers' Unions).


  1. ^ {{|url= |title=Professor Simon Chapman - The University of Sydney | |date= |accessdate=2015-04-15}}
  2. ^ Australian Health News Research Collaboration (AHNRC)
  3. ^ {{ |url= |format=PDF |title=Curriculum vitae: Simon Chapman |publisher=wikipedia:University of Sydney |accessdate=25 October 2015}}
  4. ^ TSANZ President's Award
  5. ^ American Cancer Society's 2003 Luther L. Terry Award Winners
  6. ^
    The Pattern of Complaints about Australian Wind Farms Does Not Match the Establishment and Distribution of Turbines: Support for the Psychogenic, 'Communicated Disease' Hypothesis
    ISO 4Find out here

    Infobox journal: invalid "issn" - try uppercase "ISSN=".
  7. ^ {{|url= |title=Wind turbine sickness 'all in the mind': study |author=Lenore Taylor |date=15 March 2013 |publisher=Sydney Morning Herald |accessdate=22 October 2015}}
  8. ^ {{ |url= |title=Sidney Sax Public Health Medal | |accessdate=2015-04-16 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=31 December 2012 |df=dmy-all }}
  9. ^ {{|url= |title=Chiropractors win joint Bent Spoon |publisher=Australian Skeptics Inc. |date=25 November 2013 |accessdate=22 October 2015}}
  10. ^ {{|url= |title=Current Fellows of Senate - Senate - The University of Sydney | |date= |accessdate=2015-04-15}}
  11. ^ {{|url= |title=The Original Faux Pas | |date= |accessdate=2015-04-15}}
  12. ^ {{|url= |title=The Bleeding Hearts | |date= |accessdate=2015-04-15}}
  13. ^ {{|url= |title=Simon Chapman AO (@SimonChapman6) | |date=2014-02-17 |accessdate=2015-04-15}}
  14. ^ {{ | url= |title=Queen's Birthday honours list 2013 | author= | date=10 June 2013 | work= | publisher=Sydney Morning Herald | accessdate=10 June 2013 }}
  15. ^ {{|url= |title=Award-winner Prof Simon Chapman retires |publisher=Australian Skeptics Inc. |date=30 April 2015 |accessdate=22 October 2015}}
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ {{|url= |format=PDF |title=Wind turbine syndrome: a communicated disease |publisher=Sydney University Press |accessdate=2018-02-25}}
  19. ^ {{|url= |title=Smoke signals:selected writing| |accessdate=2017-03-17}}
  20. ^ {{|url= |format=PDF |title=Removing the emperor's clothes | |accessdate=2015-04-16}}
  21. ^ {{|url= |title=SUP eStore :: Let sleeping dogs lie? What men should know before getting tested for prostate cancer | |date= |accessdate=2015-04-15}}
  22. ^ {{|author= |url= |title=The Sydney eScholarship Repository: Over our dead bodies: Port Arthur and Australia's fight for gun control | |date=2013-02-14 |accessdate=2015-04-15}}

External links

Some examples

Simon Chapman - a brief sample thereof..

Simon Chapman AO PhD FASSA HonFFPH(UK)

Excerpt of make smoking history supporting Harm Reduction
Supports harm reduction?

 Sounds like a duck quacking into a megaphone to me

He seems to support Harm Reduction, except that he doesn’t support any of the safer products that have come to market?

Simon Chapman AO in Pulic heath Advocacy and Tobacco Control: Making Smoking History: "In my view, the strongest argument advanced by (Low Nitrosamine Smokeless Tobacco) advocates is the argument for consumer sovereignty in having the right to be informed about the potential of reduced risk from LNST, and being able to exercise choice on the basis of that information"
Simon on Snus

There's a possibility he might be somewhat in favour of Snus, however the principal of harm reduction should probably apply across the board?

Simon Chapman has had a long career in Tobacco Control, and has extensively published academic articles, been an editor of BMj tobacco control and has been used in a consultation role for WHO see wiki Simon Chapman (academic)

One particular reason for his inclusion in this Safer Nicotine Wiki is his position regarding Smoking Cessation, dismissing the merits of safer nicotine products in his blog entries and frequently entering into hostile angry exchanges with peers and members of the Public alike usually by the twitter medium.

One particular sad incident involved Lorien Jollye who had the temerity to write into the Lancet pointing out factual errors in a Simon Chapman entry ,this resulted in a 4 person broadside from Chapman,McKee,Glantz and Daube see Voices From The Street.and A Lesson In Manners. this unbecoming behaviour also covered here by Clive Bates The Worst Letter of 2014 - a review and a general comment to Public Health professionals Memo to public health grandees: vaping, vapers and you

Video clip Prof. Hajek discussing the quote
"But the needs of often desperate smokers must not become the tail that wags the dog of tobacco control policy, putting at risk the massive gains we have achieved."
Simon Chapman 'The needs of smokers'

This is another thing that makes you wonder, full source: If not for saving smokers lives, then you have to wonder what the higher purpose is, and who it is for?