Sixty years ago, the nation’s chief medical doctor and health educator took a major step to raise an alarm about the health dangers of cigarette smoking.

In a live briefing on the surgeon general’s first-ever report on smoking and health, he urged action to reduce the negative health impacts of nicotine, kickstarting a nationwide antismoking campaign. In 1964, about 42% of adults were smokers. Now an estimated 14% of adults smoke.

Massachusetts has been a leader in the decades-long antismoking campaign, with one Greater Boston town recently making headlines about its innovative new approach aimed at young people.

Despite the decline in cigarette smoking among adults, there has been a rise in the number of young people using some types of nicotine products, such as smokeless tobacco, which is chewed or sniffed.


Sen. John F. Keenan, Massachusetts state senator for the Norfolk and Plymouth District

Carly Caminiti, program director at The 84, a program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s tobacco cessation and prevention program