Although we now know that tobacco use causes a host of cancers and other illnesses, and is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, the 1964 landmark report was the first to definitively link smoking with lung cancer and heart disease – forever changing Americans’ understanding of the deadly consequences of smoking.

In the 50 years since the release of the report, 30 additional Surgeon General's Reports have enhanced our knowledge and understanding of the devastating health and financial burdens caused by tobacco use, while an even wider body of research continues to track the devastating toll of tobacco use, and its consequences.

While commemorating the 50th anniversary of the seminal 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, it’s important to reflect back on the report’s origin and the key role Surgeon General Luther Terry (1961 – 1965) played in handling the relationship between tobacco use and cancer, first documented in the report. This Legacy video features Michael D. Terry, the youngest son of Surgeon General Luther Terry, and offers insight into the man behind the manuscript of the first, life-saving Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health.

An Interview with Michael D. Terry, Son of Former U.S. Surgeon General Luther L. Terry.

At Legacy, we resolve to finish the work begun by Dr. Luther Terry and so many others in 1964. Through our daily mission of keeping young people from smoking and helping all smokers quit, Legacy resolves to work toward Generation Free– the first smoke-free population in history. Learn more about Legacy’s efforts commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health.


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