Dr. Alan Blum '69, M.D., a 2006 Amherst College Honorary Degree Recipient, is the Gerald Leon Wallace Endowed Chair in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. His visit is sponsored by the Croxton Lecture Fund, the Department of Biology and the AC Lecture Committee.
It has been nearly half a century since President John F. Kennedy commissioned Surgeon Gen. Luther Terry and 10 scientists to evaluate the scientific evidence on smoking and health. The committee's landmark report was a scathing indictment of cigarettes and launched the modern anti-smoking movement. But although we have now learned through internal tobacco industry documents that cigarette companies conspired for decades to dismiss the dangers of smoking, troubling questions linger: What did the public health community know about the impact of smoking on health? When did they know it? And what did they do about it?