The 2014 Surgeon General’s Report: Children, Smoking Rates, and Premature Death


Two main concerns of the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report are the prevalence and effects of tobacco use among American youth. According to the Report, 3.5 million middle and high school students currently smoke cigarettes and every day, 3,200 children under the age of 18 smoke for the first time. The Report reinforces previous findings that smoking can cause lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease.  It now adds diabetes, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction, and age-related macular degeneration as additional negative health effects of smoking. As a result of these diseases, an estimated 20 million Americans have died prematurely since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report. The Report also suggests that 5.6 million children alive today will die prematurely if current smoking rates do not decrease. See the link above for the full report of findings.