U.S. Surgeon General on smoking: ‘We still have a major and tragic catastrophe going on’

WASHINGTON – It’s no secret that smoking causes lung cancer. But what about diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction? Fifty years into the war on smoking, scientists still are adding diseases to the long list of cigarettes’ harms — even as the government struggles to get more people to kick the habit.

A new report from the U.S. Surgeon General’s office says the nation is at a crossroads, celebrating decades of progress against the chief preventable killer but not yet poised to finish the job.

“The real emphasis needs to be put on the fact that we still have a major and tragic catastrophe going on,” said acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak.

The report, being released Friday, is a dash of cold water after last week’s headlines marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 surgeon general’s report that launched the anti-smoking movement. Yes, far fewer Americans smoke today — about 18 per cent of adults, down from more than 42 per cent in 1964.

But the government may not meet its goal of dropping that rate to 12 per cent by 2020, the new report cautioned.

Nearly half a million people will die from smoking-related diseases this year. Each day, more than 3,200 youths smoke their first cigarette. New products such as e-cigarettes, with effects that aren’t yet understood, complicate public health messages. And if current trends continue unabated, 5.6 million of today’s children and teens will go on to die prematurely during adulthood because of smoking, the report found.

Remarkably, the report adds more entries to the official list of smoking-caused diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction, the macular degeneration that can blind older adults, two additional cancers — liver and colorectal — and cleft palate birth defects.

“Enough is enough,” said Lushniak. He urged new resolve to end smoking by increasing use of proven tobacco-control measures, including price hikes for cigarettes and expanding comprehensive indoor-smoking bans that he said currently cover about half the population.

The report also encourages research into newer ideas, such as whether lowering the amount of addictive nicotine in cigarettes would help people quit.

Here are some ways the smoking landscape has changed between the 1964 surgeon general’s report and Friday’s:

___

1964: The surgeon general declares that cigarette smoking increases deaths.

2014: About 20.8 million people in the U.S. have died from smoking-related diseases since then, a toll the report puts at 10 times the number of Americans who have died in all of the nation’s wars combined. Most were smokers or former smokers, but nearly 2.5 million died from heart disease or lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke.

___

1964: Heavy smoking is declared the main cause of lung cancer, at least in men. “The data for women, though less extensive, point in the same direction.”

2014: Today, lung cancer is the top cancer killer, and women who smoke have about the same risk of dying from it as men. As smoking has declined, rates of new lung cancer diagnoses are declining nearly 3 per cent a year among men and about 1 per cent a year among women.




Browse

U.S. Surgeon General on smoking: ‘We still have a major and tragic catastrophe going on’

  1. 18 percent of adults, down from more than 42 percent in 1964.

    Anybody ever wonder how they figure the number of smokers in America!

    The same way they make their outrageous claims that smoking causes every ill to mankind by using epidemiology/ JUNK SCIENCE STATISTICS.

    CDC picks 1 or 2 cities within each state and calls 500-1000 folks in that state and asks loaded indirect questions about smoking habits………….

    Thye don’t use sales figures divided by 2 packs per day for each smoker nor do they include black market sales that force smokers via high taxation to go to as a means of creating smoking numbers.

    No they have to show that their smokefree Prohibition movement is making success happen by manipulating statistical samples to show success.

    Between 2005-2011 they showed no change to the numbers then out of the blue they start showing a gradual reduction and why! Political success is what they have to have as their claims about disease get debunked at every turn by Independent reserachers and people against prohibition across the world.

    The second ahnd smoke myth has been destroyed,the direct smoking claims are being destroyed too and they know this. Yet they keep on piling on more and more BS as the titanic sinks under the waves……………

    True to norm from previous prohibition movements this one will be dealt its death blow by a political change of power as what just happened in Australia where the progressives were wiped from power in a single election. This is what Americas Progressive prohibitionists and Rino’s know is coming next. So they increase the scare mongering to heightened levels but to no avail as smokers keep on smoking and drinkers keep on drinking and sugar addicts keep on eating.

    Their prize world of created public health epidemics is fast being exposed for the frauds they are and the regulations and criminal laws they pass against we the people.

    The gigs up and time to sign away the second progressive era to the waste heap of history as it was done before in 1933!

  2. It’s no secret that smoking causes lung cancer

    Oh really! Wheres the proof Mr SG

    Oh you have none………….I see

    JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
    7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
    November 2004.

    http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

    “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

    In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

    The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  3. Judge doesnt accept statistical studies as proof of LC causation!

    It was McTear V Imperial Tobacco. Here is the URL for both my summary and the Judge’s ‘opinion’ (aka ‘decision’):

    http://boltonsmokersclub.wordpress.com/the-mctear-case-the-analysis/

    (2.14) Prof Sir Richard Doll, Mr Gareth Davies (CEO of ITL). Prof James Friend and
    Prof Gerad Hastings gave oral evidence at a meeting of the Health Committee in
    2000. This event was brought up during the present action as putative evidence that
    ITL had admitted that smoking caused various diseases. Although this section is quite
    long and detailed, I think that we can miss it out. Essentially, for various reasons, Doll
    said that ITL admitted it, but Davies said that ITL had only agreed that smoking might
    cause diseases, but ITL did not know. ITL did not contest the public health messages.
    (2.62) ITL then had the chance to tell the Judge about what it did when the suspicion
    arose of a connection between lung cancer and smoking. Researchers had attempted
    to cause lung cancer in animals from tobacco smoke, without success. It was right,
    therefore, for ITL to ‘withhold judgement’ as to whether or not tobacco smoke caused
    lung cancer.

    [9.10] In any event, the pursuer has failed to prove individual causation.
    Epidemiology cannot be used to establish causation in any individual case, and the
    use of statistics applicable to the general population to determine the likelihood of
    causation in an individual is fallacious. Given that there are possible causes of lung
    cancer other than cigarette smoking, and given that lung cancer can occur in a nonsmoker,
    it is not possible to determine in any individual case whether but for an
    individual’s cigarette smoking he probably would not have contracted lung cancer
    (paras.[6.172] to [6.185]).
    [9.11] In any event there was no lack of reasonable care on the part of ITL at any
    point at which Mr McTear consumed their products, and the pursuer’s negligence
    case fails. There is no breach of a duty of care on the part of a manufacturer, if a
    consumer of the manufacturer’s product is harmed by the product, but the consumer
    knew of the product’s potential for causing harm prior to consumption of it. The
    individual is well enough served if he is given such information as a normally
    intelligent person would include in his assessment of how he wishes to conduct his
    life, thus putting him in the position of making an informed choice (paras.[7.167] to
    [7.181]).

  4. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  5. Nowadays, Its becoming the major cause of death. I hope people would realize that. We know already that it causes death and health problems but we are not doing anything to stop it. Our next generation will for sure suffer because of the hard hearts of those people who smokes.

Sign in to comment.