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scientistsWhen people are getting sick and dying for unexplainable reasons, America turns to the CDC. They protect us from diseases, addictions and illnesses. And about 40 years ago, the CDC was first to discover that smoking was dangerous.

Operation Flame Out


January 11, 1964: The Day Smoking Officially Became Uncool. Can you believe that since 1964, about 10 million people have died from smoking-related diseases? And to think before that, inhaling all that nasty smoke was okay. Sheesh.

Surgeon General

Over the next 40 years, the CDC continued to study the ill effects of smoking. 440,000 people die each year from cigarette smoking. Smoking medical bills cost us $75 billion a year. Who's the Surgeon General? He's the top doc for the US and makes major decisions regarding our health.

The ill effects of smoking

The Ill effects of smoking. Smoking damages almost every part in the human body. Cateracts (bad things in the eyes), gum disease (you lose your teeth), cancer (lung, mouth, throat, stomach, kidneys, bladder & pancreas), ulcers (holes in your body). Smoking causes strokes (when the heart stops) and asthma (hard to breathe).

Smoking goes down

The good work of the CDC was having an impact.

Smoking rates among adults have declined nearly 50% over the past 40 years. Youth smoking has fallen to the lowest rates in years.

Applied Science

Using "applied science", the CDC realized preventing people from smoking was the answer. The CDC studied tons of anti-tobacco campaings. And assessed which ones worked best.

The CDC started convincing young people not to start smoking. And helping older people to quit.

Don't Smoke

Their work allowed others to create anit-smoking ads and lobby the government for anti-smoking laws. No selling tobacco to kids under age 18. No tobacco advertising on TV. No smoking in public places.

When everybody found out how dangerous smoking was, things began changing. That's major league.

Ad to Stop smoking

Still, people continue to smoke. Which is why the Surgeon General and CDC continue to create messages and conduct research that show you how smoking is bad news. Cigarettes don't make you cool. They make you dead. And that's not cool.

You can do your part by not smoking.

step 1

How did we change the way everyone thinks about smoking? A three-step process.

The three-step process. Step 1: Epidemiology. Team CDC investigated, collected data and found that cigarette smoking can be deadly.

Stats and Numbers

Step 2: Stats and Numbers.
Team CDC noticed that many smokers were dying of cancer and other serious diseases. Team CDC was able to link the cause of death to smoking. They also noticed that the numbers were overwhelming.

Applied Science

Step 3: Applied Science.
Team CDC presented the Surgeon General with their findings. He told America that smoking was dangerous. Since then, Team CDC has been convincing lawmakers to create anti-smoking laws and doing everything in their power to convince young people not to start smoking.