German researchers first raised suspicions that smoking might cause lung cancer in 1930 when they observed that as a group non-smokers outlived smokers by a significant amount of years. In the 1940s the American Cancer Society backed these findings stating that there was a statistical pattern between smokers and cancer cases, but no scientific evidence to confirm or explain the correlation. The message of “Smoking increases cancer” broke through to the public in the form of an in-depth 1952 article featured in Reader’s Digest. In 1960 the U.S. federal government created the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee to examine the issue. Four years later the committee released a 387 page report detailing how cigarette smoking increased the probability of getting lung cancer prompting the government to enact the 1965 Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising act, which officially acknowledged the hazardous relationship between tobacco and cancer.
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