Interactive Timeline

It's been more than 60 years since we learned about the deadly effects of tobacco use. Throughout this time-line you'll find surprising details about the most important events that have paved the way in the fight against this killer drug.

The Rise of Cigarettes

Tobacco was a part of Native American culture and after Columbus' New World arrival, tobacco use expanded across the globe. But it wasn't until the 1880's that usage exploded after the invention of a machine that mass-produced cigarettes.

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Tobacco Companies Sign Frank Statement

The major American tobacco companies ran this historic print ad, "A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers," to counteract scientific studies indicating that cigarette smoking was linked to lung cancer.

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First Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Tobacco Use

On January 11, 1964, the U.S. Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Luther L. Terry, released the first report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health.

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The U.S. Federal Cigarette Labeling Act

The U.S. Federal Cigarette Labeling Act of 1965 required warning labels to be placed on all cigarette packages. Four years later, the Public Health and Smoking Act of 1969 required that all cigarette packs contain the statement: "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous To Your Health."

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The Fairness Doctrine

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that broadcasters who carried cigarette commercials needed to give a significant amount of time to warnings on the risks of smoking.

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Tar Wars

When the federal government began testing cigarettes for tar and nicotine in 1967, it revolutionized smoking, launching the era of "light" cigarettes. The cigarette companies began competing for a "healthier" cigarette.

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The Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout

The American Cancer Society created the trademarked concept for the Great American Smokeout when the California Division of the American Cancer Society successfully prompted one million people to quit smoking for a day in 1976.

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FDA Approves First Tobacco Cessation Aid

The first nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) aid clinically proven to help smokers quit was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1984.

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Florida Clean Indoor Air Act

The Florida Clean Indoor Air Act (FCIAA) was enacted in 1985 by the Florida Legislature. The purpose of this act is to protect people from the health hazards of secondhand smoke and to implement the Florida health initiative in section 20, Article X of the State Constitution.

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Tobacco Company CEOs Testify Before Congress

In 1994, United States Congressman Harry Waxman held a famous series of Congressional hearings. The presidents and CEOs of the seven largest American tobacco companies were subpoenaed to testify before Waxman's committee.

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Tobacco Settlement Agreement

On August 25, 1997, Florida was the second state to settle lawsuit against the tobacco industry intended to punish cigarette makers for decades of fraud and racketeering.

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WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO (World Health Organization). It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on May 21, 2003 and entered into force on Feb. 27, 2005.

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U.S. Surgeon General Report on Secondhand Smoke

On June 27, 2006, the United Stated Surgeon General released the report, "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General". The report concluded that many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces despite substantial progress in tobacco control.

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Tobacco Free Florida Launches

In November 2006, with a 71 percent majority,1 Florida's voters approved a state constitutional amendment that called for reinstating a tobacco education and use prevention program using 15 percent of the state's annual tobacco settlement – about $62 million a year.

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Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

On September 22, 2009, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This monumental law gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products.

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Graphic Warning Labels

On June 21, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled nine graphics, the first change to U.S. cigarette warning labels in more than 25 years. The health images will cover the top 50% of front and rear panels of cigarette packs sold in the country by fall 2012.

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