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OKLAHOMA – January 11, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, the landmark report that linked smoking to lung cancer and heart disease for the first time.

In the 50 years since the release of the report the country has made significant strides, but tobacco continues to claim the lives of more than 443,000 Americans each year.

While today’s smoking rate has dropped to 19%, there are still 44 million Americans this year.

The use of tobacco products is on the rise, particularly among youth.

As the nation recognizes this anniversary and the progress the country has made to save lives, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is calling on states to make further progress by enacting and strengthening tobacco control policies.