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Surgeon General Steinfeld mandated stronger cigarette pack warning labels (Associated Press)

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Californian Dr. Jesse Steinfeld, who served as Surgeon General from 1968-1973, was a trailblazer on warning the public on the dangers of tobacco use and exposure. According to the Bergen Record:

In office, Steinfeld won the ire of the tobacco industry for his stubborn efforts to publicize the hazards of smoking. He changed cigarette package labels that lukewarmly stated tobacco use might be connected to health problems.

Steinfeld’s label boldly warned: “The surgeon general has determined that smoking is hazardous to your health.”

He issued a report in 1971 that argued for tighter restrictions on smoking in public to protect people from secondhand smoke. He promoted bans on smoking in restaurants, theaters, planes and other public places — decades before such prohibitions became commonplace.

Steinfeld refused to meet with tobacco industry lobbyists and hung signs around his office that read, “Thank you for not smoking,” she said.

Steinfeld was a cancer researcher and taught at the University of Southern California medical school before serving as Nixon’s surgeon general from 1969-1973.

You can read more about Dr. Steinfeld at NorthJersey.com.