Last updated: 23 Dec, 2019

VicHealth pays tribute to former Premier John Cain

VicHealth pays tribute to former Victorian Premier the Honourable John Cain whose leadership and vision led to the creation of health promotion foundation VicHealth in 1987.

John Cain passed today at the age of 88.

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said John Cain was a visionary leader, dedicated to improving the health of all Victorians.

“John Cain’s leadership contributed to the transformation of health promotion in Victoria and around the world. Thanks to his vision, millions of Victorians live healthier and happier lives,” Dr Demaio said.

 “Victoria was a very different place when John Cain became Premier – smoking was commonplace and tobacco advertising was rampant.

“John Cain put politics aside to enact groundbreaking tobacco control reforms and established VicHealth – the world’s first health promotion foundation.

“In the face of backlash and opposition he was resolute, putting the health and wellbeing of Victorians above the profits of the tobacco industry who lobbied hard against his reforms.”

“John Cain’s actions over thirty years ago are a key reason why Victoria has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world.”

VicHealth Chair Fiona McCormack said John Cain’s legacy will live on in VicHealth’s work.

“John Cain established VicHealth to promote and protect the wellbeing of Victorians, and was a staunch supporter of the foundation in the decades since,” Ms McCormack said.

“On behalf of the staff and board of VicHealth, I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to Mr Cain’s wife Nancye and his family.”

Photo credit: State Library Victoria, and photographer Andrew Lloyd