Jan. 11, 1964 - The long-awaited Federal report on the effects of smoking found today that the use of cigarettes contributed so substantially to the American death rate that “appropriate remedial action” was called for. The committee that made the report gave no specific recommendations for action. But health officials said that possible steps might include educational campaigns, the requirement that cigarette packages carry warnings, and control of advertising. The report dealt a severe blow to the rear-guard action fought in recent years by the tobacco industry. It dismissed, one by one, the arguments raised to question the validity of earlier studies. Combining the results of many surveys, the study panel found no doubt about the role of cigarette smoking in causing cancer of the lungs. In men who smoke cigarettes, the death rate from that disease is almost 1,000 percent higher than in nonsmokers, it said. Lung cancer has become the most frequent form of cancer in men. Such smoking was also found to be “the most important” cause of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. As to coronary artery disease, a frequent cause of heart failure and the leading cause of death in the U.S., mortality is 70% higher for cigarette smokers than for nonsmokers, the report said. The committee also found that, as long suspected, pipe smoking is a cause of lip cancer. It said smoking during pregnancy seemed to produce smaller babies, but it asserted that it was not yet known whether real damage was done to the child.
The report was prepared on the initiative of President Kennedy to help the Government decide what to do about the smoking question. Its work began in the summer of 1962. Today, the three major broadcasting networks said they would review their policies on tobacco advertising in light of the report. The Tobacco Institute rejected the report, stating it was not the last word on smoking and health.