Reports and other publications from the Surgeon General are widely respected for their evidence-based approach to our nation’s most urgent public health issues. These influential documents bring together the expertise of scientific, medical, and public health professionals nationwide on a wide variety of topics, from the opioid and e-cigarette crises to health misinformation, disease prevention, breastfeeding, and oral health.
Surgeon General’s Reports are comprehensive scientific review documents prepared by experts on behalf of the Surgeon General. They are often landmark publications that identify and shape the science and culture of our public health. A recent example, released in 2016, is Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.
Surgeon General’s Calls to Action are science-based summary documents prepared by experts on behalf of the Surgeon General. They are intended to catalyze action on urgent public health problems, such as suicide, hypertension, and maternal health.
Surgeon General’s Advisories are public statements that call the American people’s attention to a public health issue and provide recommendations for how that issue should be addressed. Advisories are typically shorter than Reports or Calls to Action, and they are reserved for significant public health challenges that demand the American people’s immediate attention.
Many of these reports and other publications can be accessed below. In addition, as part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has digitized and made available numerous documents of the Surgeon General published prior to 2000. The collection includes reports, proceedings, background papers, photographs, and other ephemera of historical interest. Selected documents from 2001 to the present are also available as full text in NLM's Health Services Technology Assessment Texts system.
Reports of the Surgeon General on the adverse health consequences of smoking triggered nationwide efforts to prevent tobacco use. Reports and other publications on HIV/AIDS, mental health, substance use disorders, nutrition, and violence—to name but a few—have heightened America's awareness and focused action on critical public health issues, and continue to generate major public health initiatives.
Youth Mental Health
Our country has struggled to address mental health challenges that children, adolescents, and young adults face. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened these challenges. Learn how individuals, families, organizations, social media companies, and governments can help.
Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Learn about how we can confront health misinformation together and build a healthy information environment.
Addiction & Substance Misuse
Alcohol, opioid, and other kinds of substance abuse are major public health challenges that are taking an enormous toll on our society. Learn what the Surgeon General is doing about addiction and substance misuse in America.
Preventing smoking and the use of e-cigarettes by young people is critical to ending the scourge of tobacco. Explore a wide range of publications on how we can protect all Americans from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine.
Suicide is a problem that touches the lives of many Americans. Find out how the Surgeon General is drawing on experts across the nation to facilitate the prevention of suicide and related problems.
Community Health and Economic Prosperity
Many of our health problems result from inadequate investment in communities and unequal economic opportunities. Find out ways business can help improve American health and prosperity.
Disease Prevention and Wellness
Surgeon General publications on disease prevention and wellness cover a wide range of topics. Read about the remarkable progress that has been made toward improving wellness in the U.S. and preventing disease before it starts.
Mental health issues affect us all, either directly or through the people we love. Learn how the Surgeon General is building public awareness of the importance of mental health to overall well-being.
Youth violence is a problem that affects our entire nation, not just inner cities or any single segment of our society. Find out how the Office of the Surgeon General is applying the science of public health to the treatment and prevention of youth violence.
Surgeon General publications are raising the visibility of the “silent epidemic” of oral diseases that affect our most vulnerable citizens. Read how policymakers, community leaders, and health professionals are taking action to prevent and treat oral diseases.
Physical Activity and Nutrition
The Office of the Surgeon General has called on all Americans to balance healthful eating with regular physical activity. Explore publications on how we can become a nation that is both healthy and fit.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., and most cases are preventable. Learn how the Office of the Surgeon General is working with partners across the nation to address skin cancer as a major, avoidable public health problem.
Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant. Find out what the Office of the Surgeon General is doing to give mothers the support they need to make breastfeeding their first choice for infant nutrition.
Read publications that outline the Office of the Surgeon General’s comprehensive, coordinated plan for ensuring the availability of healthy, safe, affordable, accessible, and environmentally friendly homes.
Prevention of Pre-term Birth
Learn how the Office of the Surgeon General is increasing awareness of the causes of preterm labor and delivery and establishing an agenda to mitigate this public health problem.
Health literacy is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making informed decisions about health care. Explore publications on the importance of ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to read, understand, and act on health information.
Public Health Reports
Published since 1878, Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. Read PHR’s peer-reviewed articles and Surgeon General’s Perspectives on important national public health issues.