New Documentary About Surgeon General’s Report


In January US Department of Health and Human Services celebrated the 50th anniversary of release of first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. In this regard they published a new report called “The Health Consequences of Smoking–50 Years of Progress”.

However, a new documental film recently released says that efforts to reduce smoking have become more symbol than substance.  The film is called  “Blowing Smoke: The Lost Legacy of the Surgeon General’s Report” and is directed by Alan Blum, chief of The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society. The film says that annually huge money are spent on funds responsable for anti-smoking campaigns but seems like those money are wasted because smoking is still prevalent in the USA.

Back in January 11, 1964, when the Surgeon General’s Report was released, the author Dr. Luther L. Terry said that tobacco smoking is connected to lung cancer in males and is a health threat of serious importance to demand appropriate remedial action. However, mister Blum is pessimistic in this context. He says that the decades of anti-smoking efforts have failed because tobacco industry is very powerful and it does not want to lose its business.

Surgeon General Terry’s report of 1964 should have marked the beginning of the end of the Marlboro Man. Today Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, is the leading tobacco company which uses method of recruitment of college students as the new Marlboro sales force. It was estimated that though the number of American adults who smoke has lowered to 20%, the number of people who continue to smoke is almost the same as in 1964.

Blum speaks about the necessity to reduce demand for cigarettes, which remain the major cause of heart disease, cancer, emphysema, and high health costs.

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