THE FIRST SURGEON GENERAL'S REPORT ON THE LINK BETWEEN SMOKING AND CANCER
(TERRY, Luther L.). Smoking and Health. Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. Washington: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare / GPO, 1964. Octavo, original printed brown and cream paper wrappers. $1100.
First edition of the first surgeon general's report on the connection between smoking and cancer, accompanied by a printed presentation letter from Surgeon General Luther L. Terry.
"On June 7, 1962, recently appointed Surgeon General Luther L. Terry announced that he would convene a committee of experts to conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on the smoking question. Terry invited representatives of the four voluntary medical organizations who had first proposed the commission, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the American Medical Association, and the Tobacco Institute (the lobbying arm of the tobacco industry) to nominate commission members. Ten were finally chosen, representing a wide swath of disciplines in medicine, surgery, pharmacology, and statistics, though none in psychology or the social sciences. Candidates qualified only if they had taken no previous stand on tobacco use. Meeting at the National Library of Medicine on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, from November 1962 through January 1964, the committee reviewed more than 7,000 scientific articles with the help of over 150 consultants. Terry issued the commission's report on January 11, 1964, choosing a Saturday to minimize the effect on the stock market and to maximize coverage in the Sunday papers. As Terry remembered the event, two decades later, the report "hit the country like a bombshell. It was front page news and a lead story on every radio and television station in the United States and many abroad. The report highlighted the deleterious health consequences of tobacco use. Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General held cigarette smoking responsible for a 70 percent increase in the mortality rate of smokers over non-smokers" (National Library of Medicine). The report specifically named lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, and several other ailments as risks of smoking. It also mentioned concerns about underweight and premature babies born to smoking mothers. By 1968, over three-quarters of Americans had been convinced that smoking caused cancer. As a result, rates of smoking dropped over the following decades permanently altering the place of the tobacco industry in American life and culture. With a laid-in printed presentation letter from the surgeon general addressed "Dear Doctor", inviting the recipient to read the book and anticipating his or her "particular concern" as a physician.
Only light rubbing to extremities. A nearly fine copy.