side effects: 1) They cause, or predispose to, lung cancer. 2) They contribute to certain cardiovascular disorders. 3) They may well be truly causative in emphysema, etc., etc. We challenge those charges and we have assumed our obligation to determine their truth or falsity by creating the new Tobacco Research Foundation. In the meantime (we say) here is our triple, or quadruple or quintuple filter, capable of removing whatever constituent of smoke is currently suspect while delivering full flavor -- and incidentally -- a nice jolt of nicotine. And if we are the first to be able to make and sustain that claim, what price Kent?
1964-01-11: First Surgeon General's Report released.
From Smoking and Health: Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in men; the magnitude of the effect of cigarette smoking far outweighs all other factors... Cigarette smoking is much more important than occupational exposures in the causation of lung cancer in the general population ... Cigarette smoking is the most important of the causes of chronic bronchitis in the United States, and increases the risk of dying from chronic bronchitis and emphysema ... Although the causative role of cigarette smoking in deaths from coronary disease is not proven the Committee considers it more prudent from the public health viewpoint to assume that the established association has causative meaning than to suspend judgment until no uncertainty remains.
President John F. Kennedy had won the 1960 Presidential election by only 0.1 percent of the vote. His vice-president, Lyndon Johnson had successfully delivered the crucial Southern vote. Kennedy had an ambitious program to implement, and was fully aware many congressional committees were dominated by tobacco state legislators.
Yet the 1962 Royal College of Physicians' Report increased public pressure on Kennedy to take a public stand. At a press conference on May 23, 1962, Kennedy said in reply to a question on the subject, "That matter is sensitive enough and the stock market is in sufficient difficulaty without my giving you an answer which is not based on complete information, which I don't have, and, therefore, perhaps I will be glad to respond to that question in more detail next week."
Kennedy soon acceded to American health groups' long-standing request to create a Presidential Commission to study the matter.
Surgeon General Luther Terry worked closely with the tobacco industry on the commission. The industry was presented with a list of 150 "outstanding medical scientists" and were allowed to cross out any names they wished. Terry remembers only 3 or 4 were so eliminated. Industry views were made known to the committee members.
The scientists worked for a year in a sub-basement of the Nataional Library of Medicine in Bethesday, MD., and when their report was to be printed, it received the same clasification as a state secret.
On a carefully-chosen Saturday morning (to prevent a disastrous slide on Wall St.), January 11, 1964, at 9 AM, 200 reporters were physically locked into the State Department's auditorium to hear a two hour briefing by surgeon general Dr. Luther L. Terry and a panel of experts. The top- secret measures were felt necessary because of the bold and closely-guarded conclusion reached in a 357-page brown paperback book the reporters received titled Smoking and Health.