Writing in Friday's issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Wakelee and epidemiologist Ellen Chang said they tracked the incidence of lung cancer in more than 1 million people aged 40 to 79. All had taken part in various studies of diet, lifestyle and disease, some going back into the early 1970s.
Some groups were mostly white women, such as an ongoing nurse's study, while others included ethnically diverse groups, Wakelee said.
Among women who never smoked, the lung cancer incidence rate ranged from 14.4 per 100,000 women per year to 20.8 cases per 100,000. In men, it ranged from 4.8 to 13.7 per 100,000. Rates were about 10 to 30 times higher in smokers.
This would translate to about 20 percent of female lung cancer patients having been nonsmokers and 8 percent of males, they said. That compares with American Cancer Society estimates of about 10 percent to 15 percent for all lung cancer patients.
[SOURCE: Reuters, 09 Feb 2007 ]
I think it is not only ironic, but unfair, too. If smokers want to smoke, let them be. In this day and age, I think they are well-informed already of the association between smoking and lung cancer. But to force nonsmokers to inhale their disease-causing smoke is not only rude, I think it ought to be a crime. Why should non-smokers share in a risk they never wanted in the first place?
I've seen it several times --- insensitive smokers puffing like chimneys in public places, unmindful of the poison they are spreading. Another irony I observe is that in the Philippines, we already have a law banning smoking in public places. No one enforces it seriously because...guess what? Yes, most police officers are smokers, too.
Passive smoking seems to be killing more women than men according to the study cited above. But when will the health authorities do something about it?