Toby Cosgrove Continues His War on Smoking


Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove is not a fan of flavor country. In Cos’ perfect world, not only would everyone eat organic tofu and drink pomegranate smoothies and live to 146; nobody would have heard of smoking either.

So Cosgrove ramped up the tobacco crusade in 2005 by banishing cigs from the Clinic campus. He trumped himself in 2007 by proclaiming that the hospital would no longer hire smokers or anybody whose grandparents couldn’t finish a half marathon in less than three hours.

The war on Joe Camel has continued ever since, though Cosgrove is slowly running out of venues where he has the power to enforce his edict. Which doesn’t mean he’s stopped trying.

Asked recently after a speech to the local Harvard Business School Club what colleges could do to improve the country’s health, Cosgrove served up a ready answer: “The fact that American universities are not smoke-free appalls me,” he said, according to MedCity News. Also appalling: the cult obsession with Big Trouble in Little China, but he’s willing to back-burner that for now.

Cosgrove has been spreading the word across America’s colleges, but nobody’s getting in line behind him. “I haven’t been able to budge university trustees and hospitals on that at all,” he said.

So far, they’ve also been slow to jump on his plans to restrict graduation to those with 8 percent body fat or less and ban pizza from college dorms.

About The Author

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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