A report from the surgeon general released Friday concludes that smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature disease and death in the nation, killing an estimated 480,000 Americans a year.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, which played a role in the first surgeon general’s report on smoking 50 years ago, also played a role in the new report.
In connection with the report’s release, the cancer center worked with the Medical University of South Carolina to create an historical display, 40 feet wide by 8 feet tall, documenting the conclusions and impact of the 1964 report.
The idea for the display originated with K. Michael Cummings, former chairman of the department of health behavior at Roswell Park and now a member of the Medical University of South Carolina. according to Roswell Park officials.
“From the research of Drs. Saxon Graham, Morton Levin and John Pickren, which played a central role in that groundbreaking 1964 report, right up to the 2012 report, Roswell Park faculty have been well-represented in the various surgeon general’s reports, serving as researchers, reviewers and authors,” said Andrew Hyland, current chairman of the department of health behavior at Roswell Park.
The new report adds to the list of diseases causally associated with tobacco use and smoke, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction, orofacial clefts in infants, ectopic pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, and impaired immune function.
An online version of the display can be viewed at www.tobaccotimeline.org.