The Call for a Tobacco-Free Generation

1531720_630912666974200_1384046592_nThe U.S. Surgeon General’s report on The Health Consequences of Smoking reminds us just how far we’ve come over the last 50 years in our efforts to control tobacco use and prevent our youth from lighting up.  BdfYu-1IIAAOv5rSmoking rates have more than halved since 1964 (42 percent compared to 18 percent in 2012).  Thanks to our comprehensive tobacco control programs at the national and local levels,eight million Americans have been saved from premature death, and their lives have been extended by an average of almost 20 years.

Continue reading

Looking Back Over the Past 50 Years

page2Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report:The Health Consequences of Smoking–50 Years of Progress.

In the last 50 years, we’ve made tremendous progress in reducing the burden of tobacco.  Here are some milestones from the last 50 years in tobacco control:

Continue reading

50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health

50anniv-logo-smlJanuary 11, 2014 marks an important milestone in public health—the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health.  That landmark report was the first to definitely link smoking with lung cancer and heart disease.

Dr. Luther Terry, the U.S. Surgeon General who issued the report, said, “[It] hit the country like a bombshell. It was front page news and a lead story on every radio and television station in the United States and many abroad.”  The report spurred landmark legislation that required warning labels on cigarettes and prohibited tobacco companies from advertising their deadly products on television.  By 1969, 70 percent of Americans believed smoking caused cancer, and 60% believed it caused heart disease.

Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, said that no other single report has had this large an effect on public health.

Continue reading