Early Warnings: Historical Publications
The Unfiltered Truth About Smoking and Health
The dangers of tobacco have long been described in the medical literature. The earliest medical lecture in the United States on the hazards of smoking is believed to have been given by Benjamin Waterhouse, MD (also known as the American Jenner for having introduced vaccination to the U.S.) to the graduating class at Harvard Medical School on November 20, 1804. Other physicians, especially in New England, wrote about the adverse health consequences of smoking throughout the 19th century. A commentary in The Lancet in 1859 not only discussed the harmfulness of smoking, but also its economic and social toll. In 1929, a German medical journal article on tobacco as a cause of cancer included a bibliography with 167 references.