Physicians call for stronger action on smoking 50 years on from key report

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 06 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1676
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Substantial progress has been made in the 50 years since the Royal College of Physicians published its seminal report Smoking and Health, but the college says that much more can and must be done.

The 1962 report stated that smoking caused lung cancer and was linked to other diseases and started a major shift in public attitudes to smoking. The college is marking the anniversary this week with a conference and new report, Fifty Years since “Smoking and Health”: Progress, Lessons and Priorities for a Smoke-Free UK.

Back in 1962 “there were swirling clouds of smoke in pubs, cinemas, trains, buses, on the streets and even in hospitals and schools. Around 70% of men and 40% of women smoked. Smoking was omnipresent, accepted, established,” the new report says.

Since then there have been many changes in public policy, including a ban on smoking in public places, a ban on tobacco advertising and …

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