American Association for Cancer Research

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American Association for Cancer Research Lauds Surgeon General's 50-Year Smoking Report


January 17, 2014

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PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) congratulates the Department of Health and Human Services on the release of its newest report, “The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress.” This publication, released just after the 50th anniversary of the surgeon general’s original landmark report on smoking, contributes to the accumulating body of knowledge demonstrating the dire health consequences of smoking, which include 18 different types of cancer. The report also details initiatives that could end the tobacco use epidemic in the United States.

“Tobacco use has exacted an enormous toll on the health of Americans and people worldwide,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The AACR wishes to remind our nation that the original groundbreaking report, published 50 years ago, was the first surgeon general’s report to make a definitive link between smoking and lung cancer, and paved the way for critical public health initiatives that have helped to stem the tide of tobacco-related death and disease in the United States.”

The AACR, the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer, will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the original surgeon general’s report throughout the year, including the publication of a series of tobacco-relevant research articles in the AACR’s eight scientific journals and tobacco education and policy sessions at the AACR’s scientific meetings.

“We have made enormous progress against tobacco in the last 50 years, but our work is far from done,” said Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., chief of medical oncology at Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Haven, Conn., and chair of the AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee. “Although smoking in the United States has declined by more than half since 1964, nearly 20 percent of Americans still smoke and more than 443,000 will die prematurely each year as a result of their addiction.”

AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee members Thomas Brandon, Ph.D.; Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Ph.D.; Stephanie R. Land, Ph.D.; Peter Shields, M.D.; Benjamin Toll, Ph.D.; and Graham Warren, M.D., Ph.D., contributed to this report.

The AACR also recognizes Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); Tom Harkin (D-Iowa); Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio); Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.); Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.); Tim Johnson (D-S.D.); Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.); Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.); Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine); Mark Begich (D-Alaska); and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) for co-sponsoring a Senate resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the surgeon general’s smoking and health report. The AACR is committed to ending the scourge of tobacco use through research, education, and advocacy, and is proud to join the senators in celebrating this important milestone in public health.