The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014
The century-long epidemic of cigarette smoking has caused an enormous, avoidable public health catastrophe in the United States.
Despite significant progress since the first Surgeon General’s report, issued 50 years ago, smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
The scientific evidence is incontrovertible: inhaling tobacco smoke, particularly from cigarettes, is deadly. Since the first Surgeon General’s Report in 1964, evidence has linked smoking to diseases of nearly all organs of the body.
Smokers today have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than did smokers in 1964.
For the first time, women are as likely to die as men from many diseases caused by smoking.
Proven tobacco control strategies and programs, in combination with enhanced strategies to rapidly eliminate the use of cigarettes and other combustible, or burned, tobacco products, will help us achieve a society free of tobacco-related death and disease.
"Of all the accomplishments of the 20th century, historians rank the 1964 Surgeon General's report as one of the seminal public health achievements of our time," acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH concluded in his introduction to the report. "Armed with both science and resolve, we can continue to honor the legacy of the report by completing the work it began in the last century."