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

January 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. The 1964 landmark report, released by Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry, was the first federal government report linking smoking and ill health, including lung cancer and heart disease. In the last 50 years, 31 Surgeon General’s Reports have been released, increasing our understanding of the devastating health and financial burdens caused by tobacco use. We now know that smoking causes a host of cancers and other illnesses and is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing 443,000 people each year.  

In 2014, we highlight half a century of progress in tobacco control and prevention, present new data on the health consequences of tobacco use, and introduce initiatives that can potentially end the tobacco use epidemic in the United States in the 32rd Surgeon General’s Report on smoking and health. Find out more about the The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.

Infographic:  The Next 50 Years

The Next 50 Years: If we could help every smoker to quit smoking and keep young people from starting in the first place, the results would be staggering.

Consumer Booklet

This easy-to-read, illustrated booklet summarizes the Surgeon General’s Report released in January, 2014. The booklet discusses, in plain language, historical information on changes in smoking norms since the first Surgeon General’s Report was released in January 1964; new health findings on diseases and conditions caused or affected by smoking; and ways to reduce smoking and its resulting health and financial impact. It is designed to give concerned adults information to help them make choices that will improve their own health and the health of their children, their families, and their communities.  

Let's Make the Next Generation Tobacco-Free: Your Guide to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health  [PDF – 796 KB] 

Public Service Announcement - 5.6 Million Children

A public service announcement (PSA) designed to educate adults about the long-term impact of tobacco use on this nation’s future – its youth. The PSA points out that 5.6 million children alive today will ultimately die early from smoking if we do not do more to reduce current smoking rates.