Royal College of Physicians' 'Smoking and Health' report

Building on the research carried out by Richard Doll and Tony Bradford Hill in the 1950s, the Royal College of Physicians published a report on the link between smoking and cancer of the lung and other diseases in 1962.

Focus on behaviours

The recommended interventions focused on behaviours, rather than taxation and sector-wide approaches.

The report called on the government to introduce a number of public health measures, such as encouraging doctors to advise patients on the harmful effects of cigarette smoking to help reduce the prevalence of smoking within the UK.

In addition to targeting a governmental audience, the report also sought to inform the public. It was widely distributed in the UK and in the USA. 

Further reports

The Royal College of Physicians released further reports on smoking and its damaging impact on public health in 1971 and 1977. It published a 50-year commemorative report in 2012.


Royal College of Physicians.
Smoking and health.
London: Pitman Medical Publishing; 1962.

Royal College of Physicians.
Fifty years since smoking and health.
RCP; 2012.