Luther L. Terry

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Luther L. Terry, M.D. was a former Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service from 1961 to 1965. Terry was emeritus professor of Research Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1984.(E. Whelan 1984) He issued the first Surgeon General's report to definitively link smoking with disease in 1964.

Luther Terry, Surgeon General (1964)


Terry appointed an expert advisory committee which met for the first time in November 1962 and announced conclusions on January 11, 1964.(E. Whelan 1984) "We vastly underestimated the dependency fact involved in cigarette smoking. Our 1964 report called smoking a 'habit' and said that smoking is compulsive with some smokers. Today [circa 1985], we know that cigarette smoking is compulsive for many but not most smokers. Smoking is unquestionably a form of drug addiction just like heroin use."(E. Whelan, A Smoking Gun 1984, p.x.)

Terry died in 1985 and Joseph A. Califano, Jr. performed the eulogy in April of 1985.

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