50 years of anti-smoking efforts have saved lives

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Anti-smoking measures that began after U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry warned of the dangers of smoking 50 years ago have saved as many as 8 million lives, according to a Yale study published in January in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. According to first author Theodore R. Holford, Ph.D., the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Public Health (Biostatistics) and professor of statistics, along with researchers from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, the surgeon general’s 1964 report was pivotal in changing attitudes and behaviors related to smoking. In addition to the now-familiar warnings placed on cigarette packages, taxes on tobacco have increased, advertising is restricted, and public smoking areas are limited.

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Theodore Holford

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics and Professor of Statistics and Data Science