50 years later: Health officials say there's still too many smokers

It's been 50 years since an American Surgeon General released a report stating smoking caused cancer.

It's been 50 years since an American Surgeon General announced smoking causes cancer. Then, 40 percent of Americans were smokers. That number has dropped to 18 percent.


A new report indicates 5.6 million U.S. children will die prematurely, unless current smoking rates drop.

The new surgeon general report links smoking to 13 types of cancer, diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, tuberculosis, and even erectile dysfunction. Health officials also say second hand smoke exposure leads to strokes. Health officials hope to reduce the number of smokers to less than 10 percent in the next ten years.


Many smokers said they’re now switching to electronic cigarettes. The e-cigarettes contain nicotine but lack the carcinogens. Smokers said “vaping” allows them to adjust the nicotine levels in the e-cigarette, until eventually they are able to do without. Since they’re fairly new on the market, they’re not regulated by the FDA nor does the FDA know the potential risks associated with e-cigarettes.

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