Medicine: Britain v. Cigarettes

Last week for the first time the government of a major nation took strong official action to discourage its citizens from smoking cigarettes. Acting on evidence that cigarettes cause lung cancer, Britain's Ministries of Health and Education began sending out circulars putting their support behind a report by a nine-man committee of the prestigious Royal College of Physicians. The committee had done no new scientific work, but it spent almost three years evaluating existing statistical and medical data. Its unqualified conclusion: "Cigarette smoking is a cause of lung cancer."

Health Minister J. Enoch Powell told Parliament: "This report demonstrates authoritatively and crushingly...

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