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How America Started to Quit Smoking 50 Years Ago



Smoking in the United States began its slow decline with the arrival of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, published in January 1964 and every year since.

To celebrate the report’s 50th anniversary Friday, the U.S. Surgeon General released a special guide to its history [PDF]. The most recent edition of the report goes father than ever in listing the dangers of smoking. Diseases caused in part by tobacco products now include liver and colorectal cancers, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

The medical establishment’s crusade against cigarettes has significantly altered our culture. Though nearly one in five adults still smoke, that number has come down from nearly half of grown-up U.S. citizens since the first report was issued. These days, lighting up (tobacco, at least) is considered taboo, indoors and out, in many cities and campuses. Read more…

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