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Reflecting on 50 Years of Progress

Logo for 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health: 1964-2014January 11, 2014 marked 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. This scientifically rigorous report laid the foundation for tobacco control efforts in the United States.  In the last 50 years, we have increased 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 480,000 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, The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress.

Video and Podcast Series

The landmark report also laid the foundation for tobacco control efforts in the U.S. Through the efforts of tobacco control professionals, advocates and researchers the work has continued to move forward. Learn about the progress of tobacco control in the 50th Anniversary on Smoking and Health Video and Podcast Series, featuring interviews from key leaders in the fight against tobacco.

eBook Version of the 50th Anniversary Report

The 2014 Surgeon General’s report The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress is now available as an eBook. The Full Report, Supplemental Evidence Tables, and Executive Summary are available in ePUB (compatible with Apple’s iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and many others) and MOBI (Amazon Kindle) formats for your mobile electronic device. Download them for free today. (Please note: You will need to complete the checkout process in order to receive the FREE eBook).


Post these infographics to your website, blog, or social networking site to  promote the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health.

Tobacco Use Epidemic in the U.S.: Is 50 Years of Progress Enough? 


Fact Sheets

Photo of 4 Fact Sheets on SmokingThese fact sheets have been created for public health officials and others, and provide information taken from Surgeon General’s Reports about smoking and its connection to specific diseases and health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There are also fact sheets addressing smoking risks for particular population groups, such as women, youth, and men and women concerned about reproductive health. The fact sheet “What You Need To Know About Smoking” also includes tips for smokers who want to quit.

Past Reports