Surgeon General Reports

In 1964, Luther Terry, MD, Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service, released the nation's very first Surgeon General's Report on tobacco. This landmark report concluded that smoking cigarettes is a cause of lung cancer, and the most important cause of chronic bronchitis. This report sparked much conversation, and went on to be labeled one of the top news stories of 1964.

While significant progress has been made in the fight against tobacco, there is still a long road ahead. New technologies are being discovered each day, and those technologies play into making tobacco products more appealing and readily available. The Surgeon General plays a vital role in keeping the public informed of the health consequences of tobacco, and of the harm these new products can cause.

Recent Reports

2014New Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking— 50 Years of Progress
In January 1964, the first Surgeon General report was released. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Surgeon General office have prepared some information and resources to commemorate this event and help spread the message Dr. Terry worked to convey 50 years ago.

The report highlights major accomplishments in tobacco prevention and control over the past 50 years, presents new data on the health consequences of smoking, and discusses scenarios that can potentially end the tobacco epidemic in the United States.


2012Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults
This report, focused on youth and young adults, discusses the sensitivity of young people to the addictive nature of nicotine, and how industry marketing makes that happen- including use of tobacco imagery in the media.


2010How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease
This report describes the ways tobacco smoke damages organs in the body. Also examined is how and why smokers become addicted and how nicotine compares with heroin and cocaine in its hold on users and its effects on the brain.


2007Children and Secondhand Smoke Exposure — Excerpts from The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
These excerpts, from The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, highlight the harmful effects of secondhand smoke exposure on children.


2006The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
A comprehensive scientific report which concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.


2004The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General
A comprehensive report on the hazards of active smoking, health risks caused by smoking, and the benefits of quitting.


For more Surgeon General reports on tobacco, visit the Surgeon General Reports
Web site.