In releasing the Surgeon General's Report on January 11, 1964, Dr. Luther L. Terry, the nation's physician-in-chief, declared that "Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in men and is a health hazard of sufficient importance to warrant appropriate remedial action."
But why has such action been far too little and late?
Blowing Smoke: The Lost Legacy of the Surgeon General's Report, a film by Alan Blum, MD, chronicles the fear, foot-dragging, and squandering of funds on the part of public health agencies, universities, and organized medicine alike in ending the smoking pandemic.
Topics of discussion in this film include: the record profits of the nation's leading cigarette manufacturer Altria, maker of Marlboro; the company's campus recruitment of college students as the new Marlboro sales force; and the significant investment in Altria by TIAA-CREF and other major pension funds. Moreover, although the percentage of American adults who smoke has declined to 20%, the number of people who continue using cigarettes as of 2014 -- nearly 45 million -- is nearly the same as in 1964.
For more information, contact:
Alan Blum, MD
Professor and Gerald Leon Wallace, MD, Endowed Chair in Family Medicine
Director, The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society
College of Community Health Sciences