The U.S. Surgeon General’s first Smoking and Health report marked its 50-year anniversary Saturday.
Led by then Surgeon General Luther Terry with the help of an advisory committee, the 1964 landmark report linked smoking cigarettes with dangerous health effects, including lung cancer and heart disease. After consulting more than 7,000 articles about cigarette smoking, the committee concluded smoking was a cause of lung and laryngeal cancer in men, a probable cause of lung cancer in women and the most important cause of chronic bronchitis.
Read through the original report, published on Jan. 11, 1964:
In the report’s foreword, Terry wrote the “assignment has been most difficult,” and the “subject is complicated.”
Just one year after the report’s initial release, Congress passed the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965, which required the first warning labels on cigarette packages.
The 1965 law has been followed by numerous anti-smoking measures over the past four decades, including the recent wave of public indoor smoking bans passed on the state level.
On NewsHour Weekend Sunday, acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak speaks with Hari Sreenivasan about the government’s current anti-smoking efforts. Watch the interview in the player above.