Historic Smoking Report Celebrates 50th Anniversary


50 years ago it was an absolutely normal thing to see ashrtays on almost every table. Famous athletes, Hollywood actors and even Fred Flintstone advertised cigarettes in TV commercials. Clouds of smoke hung in the air in most places such as offices, restaurants and airplane cabins. More than 42% of adult people in the USA smoked cigarettes, and many doctors were among them.

January 11, 1964, was the day that changed the attitude towards cigarettes. It was the day when American Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report which told that smoking is bad as it causes a number of diseases. The government was asked to take measures to stop it.

With time negative effects of smoking made governments take serious measures in order to reduce tobacco use in their countries. Today cigarettes ads are banned, warning labels were put on cigarette packs, taxes were increased and smoking banns were introduced.

Kenneth Warner, a University of Michigan public health professor who is a leading authority on smoking and health, says that battle against smoking didn’t finish yet. Though the U.S. smoking rate has dropped to 18%, that is around 43 million smokers.

That is rhe reason why Terry report is considered to be one of the most important documents in American public health history, and on January 11 it would celebrate its 50th anniversary and these days officials try to sum up the results they obtained for many years with their anti-smoking campaigns.

In the mid of 20th century it was considered that cigarettes with filters are absolutely safe as tobacco industry claimed filters do trap toxins before they settled into smokers’ lungs. In 1954, they placed a huge ad in newspapers in which they told that research connecting tobacco products and cancer was inconclusive.

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