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Surgeon General to Launch Health Probe Into Cigarettes

June 7, 1962 - Surgeon General Luther L. Terry announced today that he would appoint an advisory committee to study the effect of cigarette smoking on health. The formation of such a committee was endorsed by President Kennedy at his news conference today. The fact the announcement was made by the Surgeon General and not by the President was an apparent attempt to lessen the economic impact of such a move and to shield Mr. Kennedy from appearing to be preparing a blow against the tobacco industry. Mr. Kennedy had been asked two weeks ago for his views on possible links between smoking and various diseases. He promised to reply at his next news conference. To brief himself, Mr. Kennedy called for all information the Public Health Service could furnish on possible links between smoking and such diseases as lung cancer and heart trouble. On the basis of that report, the President endorsed formation of a committee to study the situation and make recommendations. Questioned at his news conference today, he predicted the study would take some months and would “go into ’63.”


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