The Health consequences of smoking : a report of the Surgeon General 1972
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The Health consequences of smoking : a report of the Surgeon General 1972

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      “Smoking and Health. Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service” was published in 1964. The following documents were subsequently published as reviews of the medical literature as called for by Public Law 89-92.

      • “The Health Consequences of Smoking, A Public Health Service Review : 1967”

      • “The Health Consequences of Smoking, 1968 Supplement to the 1967 PHS Review”

      • “The Health Consequences of Smoking, 1969 Supplement to the 1967 PHS Review”

      These documents reviewed the medical literature which had been published since the original Surgeon General’s Report. The format of publishing a supplement to a supplement became unwieldy, particularly in the light of the lack of availability of previous reviews to the general public. Therefore, when P.L. 91-222 was signed into law on April 1, 1970, calling for an 18-month interval between the previous report and the new report, the entire field was reviewed with an emphasis on the most recent additions to the literature. The product of this review was: “The Health Consequences of Smoking, A Report of the Surgeon General : 1971.”

      The present document, “The Health Consequences of Smoking, A Report of the Surgeon General: 1972,” includes a review of the literature which has been published since the 1971 Report was completed. It also includes an evaluation of the state of knowledge in three areas which have not been previously reviewed in these reports: allergy and tobacco, public exposure to air pollution from tobacco smoke, and harmful constituents of cigarette smoke.

      The National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health has the responsibility for the continuous monitoring and compilation of the medical literature on the health consequences of smoking and for the preparation of this document.

      Six times since 1964, the Public Health Serviceh as issued formal reviews of the scient.ific evidence which links cigarette smoking to disease and premature death. Each successive review, including this one, has served to confirm and strengthen the conclusion of the 1964 Report, that cigarettes are a major cause death and disease.

      In the first three chapters of this report, the relationships between cigarette smoking and cancer, cardiovascular disease, and non-neoplastic bronchopulmonary disease are reviewed and evidence is presented which helps develop our understanding of the mechanisms which are involved in these relationships. In the final three chapters, information is presented on public exposure to air pollution from tobacco, on the relationship between tobacco and allergy, and on the harmful constituents which are found in cigarette smoke.

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