1-12-15- Surgeon General Luther Terry 1-12-150- mokingandhealthcover of report

Surgeon General Report 1964

Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

Dr. Luther L. Terry MD, a cardiovascular physician, was appointed Surgeon General by John F. Kennedy in 1961. In January 1964 Dr. Terry released the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health.  The report, based on the extensive research documented in 7,000 articles in biomedical publications stated that cigarette smoking was:

  • A cause of lung cancer and laryngeal cancer in me
  • A probable cause of lung cancer in women
  • The most important cause of chronic bronchitis.

The report made headlines across the country and was the first of many steps to educate the public regarding the dangers of smoking and to encourage people to kick the habit. In June of 1964 the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-1 to require cigarette manufacturers to place a warning on each pack of cigarettes that smoking was dangerous to health.  Four years later the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 was passed. This legislation required additional health warnings on cigarette packages and banned cigarette advertising on television.

On January 11, 1964, Luther L. Terry, MD, Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, released the first report of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. Click below to view the video:



To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.troyhistoricvillage/facebook. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at ed@thvmail.org.

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