19th March 2024, The American Thoracic Society (ATS) Awards Committee have selected Prof. Raj Kumar, Director of Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI) for the annual ATS Public Service Award at the ATS 2024 International Conference in San Diego, California.

This public service award is given to individuals in the areas related to public and population health equity, improving air quality, elimination of tobacco use, lung disease prevention, advocacy, improved management of communicable respiratory diseases, lung disease, sleep health or critical care. The contribution is dedicated to him.

Prof. Raj Kumar has been serving for the last 2 decades in the field of lung related diseases, improving air quality and tobacco cessation. Presently Prof. Kumar is working as the Director of Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI) and has personally donated more than Rs. 5 lakhs. The work has been done to make people quit tobacco. The quit line proposal given by him in the year 2014 was again invited by the government and on 30 May 2016, India’s first quit line service was started by Honorable Shri Jai Prakash Nadda, former Union Health Minister, at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (Delhi University). and also issued a toll-free number 1800112356 which is printed along with statutory warnings on packets of all tobacco products as per the order of the Central Government and since then he is also serving as its Principal Investigator.