The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General Executive Summary (ePub eBook)

The Health Consequences of Smoking50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General Executive Summary (ePub eBook)
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This Executive Summary provides an overview of the full report of the 2014 Surgeon General’s report on smoking and highlights the conclusions and findings. This 50th Anniversary report updates data on the numerous health effects resulting from smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke and details public health trends, both favorable and unfavorable, in tobacco use since 1964. The report also marks the steady progress achieved in reducing the prevalence of smoking and validates tobacco control strategies that have consistently proven to be effective. It also examines strategies with the potential to eradicate the death and disease caused by the tobacco epidemic. Finally, the report documents that effective interventions are available and calls for their full implementation.

The release of this report is in coordination with the 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health.

About the Agency:

As the Nation’s Doctor, the Surgeon General provides Americans with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. Some of the Surgeon General’s most important tools are comprehensive scientific reports on specific health issues, such as this report on smoking and health.

Related items:

How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, A Report of the Surgeon General can be found here:

S. 1796, America's Healthy Future Act of 2009 is availalbe here:

Healthy People, 2010: Final Review can be found here:

El Camino Hacia una Vida Saludable Basada en las Guias Alimenticias para los Estadounidenses = The Road to a Healthy Life Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Bilingual Spanish and English) can be found here:

Alcoholism, Smoking, and Substance Abuse resources collection can be found here:

Other products produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are available here:


Table of Contents

Major Conclusions from the Report:

1. The century-long epidemic of cigarette smoking has caused an enormous avoidable public health tragedy. Since the first Surgeon General’s report in 1964 more than 20 million premature deaths can be attributed to cigarette smoking.

2. The tobacco epidemic was initiated and has been sustained by the aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry, which has deliberately misled the public on the risks of smoking cigarettes.

3. Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report, cigarette smoking has been causally linked to diseases of nearly all organs of the body, to diminished health status, and to harm to the fetus. Even 50 years after the first Surgeon General’s report, research continues to newly identify diseases caused by smoking, including such common diseases as diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and colorectal cancer.

4. Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke has been causally linked to cancer, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, and to adverse effects on the health of infants and children.

5. The disease risks from smoking by women have risen sharply over the last 50 years and are now equal to those for men for lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cardiovascular diseases.

6. In addition to causing multiple diseases, cigarette smoking has many adverse effects on the body, such as causing inflammation and impairing immune function.

7. Although cigarette smoking has declined significantly since 1964, very large disparities in tobacco use remain across groups defined by race, ethnicity, educational level, and socioeconomic status and across regions of the country.

8. Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report, comprehensive tobacco control programs and policies have been proven effective for controlling tobacco use. Further gains can be made with the full, forceful, and sustained use of these measures.

9. The burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products; rapid elimination of their use will dramatically reduce this burden.

10. For 50 years the Surgeon General’s reports on smoking and health have provided a critical scientific foundation for public health action directed at reducing tobacco use and preventing tobacco-related disease and premature death.


Physicians, medical researchers, and smokers would all find the medical studies evaluating the dangerous effects of cigarettes useful.  In addition, community groups, youth groups, and other groups interested in preventing smoking in youth and adults (and/or helping youth and adults quit smoking) would find these facts very useful.

Adults, African Americans, Alaska Natives & Native Americans, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, College Age, Elderly, Hispanics & Latin Americans may find the information contained in this document helpful to their health management.

Product Details

US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2014/97 pages
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