Further Information

The 1979 Surgeon General Report on active smoking | US Department of Health and Human Services
Article Published: 1979

Type: Official report
Published By: US Department of Health and Human Services

Further Information

Unbeknown to the large mass of the American and non-American population at the time of its release, this 1979 Report, issued 15 years after the first 1964 SG Report, shows the progression of a belief and a political posture that would unfold into the all-out social persecution of smokers and foster the rampant institutional corruption that we are witnessing today.

Already, heavy distortions are produced. For example, in the Secretary’s Foreword at page three of this 1,194 page document we read: “The [1964] report established that cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in men”. “It revealed that cigarette smoking is directly related to illness and death from heart disease and other ailments; that cigarette smoking is the leading contributory cause of death from chronic bronchitis and other lung disorders”. “The report, in short, pronounced cigarette smoking a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant remedial action”.

That is false. The 1964 Report, in fact, went to great lengths to highlight that the association between smoking and lung cancer was NOT causal, but merely statistical and that, therefore, it should not be interpreted as causal because not scientifically demonstrated. That is still true today.

However, the seeds for the “speculation = proof” mentality (as well as the reversed burden of scientific proof) were already cast. Those seeds were indispensable for the upcoming social and cultural engineering efforts. Most of society was still innocent, and smoking was a natural way of life for a large portion of the adult population. Nobody would have ever imagined the fantastically horrible things to come.

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