Aug. 1 2006
As Dr. Richard Carmona completes his term as Surgeon General of the United States, he has earned the nation’s gratitude and praise for his leadership in the fight against tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. In particular, the recent Surgeon General’s report on secondhand smoke released by Dr. Carmona was a truly historic public health document that will have a lasting impact in the United States and around the world. As Dr. Carmona stated, “The debate is over. The science is clear: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance but a serious health hazard.” With his plain-spoken words, Dr. Carmona made clear the obligation of elected officials everywhere to enact comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws that protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air.
Dr. Carmona has also significantly expanded our knowledge of the health harms of primary smoking with his 2004 report that found smoking harms virtually every organ in the human body and damages health at every stage of life.
Dr. Carmona has continued the long and proud tradition of the Surgeon General’s office by focusing attention on the devastating health consequences of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke and the need for aggressive action. His leadership as Surgeon General will improve health and save lives in the United States and around the world for generations to come.