The Surgeon General Issues 2014 Report on Smoking
Major conclusions from the report include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In addition to causing multiple diseases, cigarette smoking has many other adverse effects on the body, such as causing inflammation and impairing immune function.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.