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Evidence-Based Oncology November/December 2013

Surgeon General's 'Smoking and Health' Turns 50

Peter Page
Smoking and Health: A Public Health Milestone
The 1964 report was the first big step in a very long trek to a smoke-free society, said Glynn of the American Cancer Society, who is working on commemorating the 50th anniversary. “I grew up in a small New York City apartment with 2 cigarette smokers and my grandfather smoking a pipe. No one thought a thing about it,’’ Glynn said. “We went from 42% of the population then (smoking) to 19% now. That is a huge public health success. Probably between 8 and 12 million lives have been saved since the publication of that report, but we still have 44 million people smoking, even though 70% of them say they want to stop. Our work remains to get people to stop smoking, period. I know that sounds obvious, but that’s the work, still.’’


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