By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Last Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health. How far have we come?
Smoking has declined in the past 5 decades as has cancer and heart disease. The drop in smoking was responsible for the 12% decline in heart disease related deaths from 1980 to 2000.
Now the bad news: 44 million adults and 3.6 million children still smoke, leaving tobacco as the number one cause of preventable death in the US in 2014.
The Surgeon General says the FDA must use its law-given authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco, and that it is time for the states themselves to step up and fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs at levels recommended by the CDC.