From Surgeon General To Smoking Foe: Remembering Dr. Steinfeld
August 06, 2014
JESSE STEINFELD: I hope that in this next year each American citizen will review for himself the summary findings of what is no longer an honest disagreement among medical scientists about the hazards of cigarette smoking. There is no disagreement. Cigarette smoking is deadly.
CORNISH: In 1972 Steinfeld issued a blistering report on the hazards of secondhand smoke. And the next year he was forced out of office. But not before he instituted tougher warning labels on cigarette packages and a smoking ban inside government buildings. Doctor Steinfeld died yesterday at age 87. To speak more about his legacy we turn to Stanton Glantz. He studies the health effects of secondhand smoke at the University of California, San Francisco.
GLANTZ: He’s a fearless guy. And it’s important to remember that the tobacco industry’s primary defense against the evidence that smoking was causing disease was to say it was an open question – that reasonable scientists could disagree. Steinfeld said, no – the evidence is overwhelming that smoking is causing disease.