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Research Fundamentals Tutorial

Scholarly conversation on tobacco use

Luther Leonidas Terry, former Surgeon General of the USA.In 1964 U.S. Surgeon General Luther L. Terry led a committee that published a groundbreaking report on the health risks associated with tobacco smoking, including lung cancer. This report compiled data from thousands of previously published reports and articles to make a strong case for the connection. Since this report was published thousands of new reports and articles were published, each of them citing the data and conclusions in the 1964 report.

Each article citing this report is cited by more reports and articles, and so on, creating a scholarly community. Through publication, meeting at conferences, and sharing research results, this community is involved in a conversation on the topic of the dangers of smoking.

Surgeon General Luther Terry died in 1985, but through his work and publications, he remains a vital part of the scholarly conversation.

Image: Luther Leonidas Terry, former Surgeon General of the USA, via Wikimedia Commons

Scholarly conversation timeline

This timeline shows a small sample of the articles and their authors involved in the scholarly conversation on the health risks of smoking.

Each green bubble represents an article that cites (quotes, paraphrases, or otherwise references) the one that came before. 

Click a green bubble for more information about the article.

Click and drag the timeline to move back and forth.

How does the scholarly conversation change over time?

The timeline begins with the Surgeon General's report that smoking causes adverse health effects, including cancer.

After many years of research the negative effects of smoking were firmly established, and a new subject of the scholarly conversation emerged: assessing the effectiveness of programs that help smokers quit.

Today there is an emerging scholarly conversation on the effects of e-cigarette smoking.

Keep in mind that this timeline represents only a few of the thousands of research reports and scholarly articles that emerged on the topic of the risks of smoking both before and after the 1964 report. As the conversation evolves over time, new topics sprout leaves and eventually branch off into their own research topics.

Opinion poll: Where do you think the scholarly conversation will go from here?
Assessing the success of e-cigarette cessation programs.: 125 votes (3.43%)
Determining why there has been a recent sharp increase in e-cigarette use among high school students.: 226 votes (6.2%)
Exploring the health effects of using e-cigarettes versus traditional cigarettes.: 169 votes (4.63%)
All of the above.: 3127 votes (85.74%)
Total Votes: 3647