Use and Abuse of Drugs - The link between smoking and lung cancer

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Article Index
Use and Abuse of Drugs
Drug Development
Lung Cancer and Smoking
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The link between smoking and lung cancer.

It is now widely accepted that smoking tobacco can cause lung cancer.  The link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer was established by the collection of statistics which showed that the more cigarettes a person smoked, the higher the risk of developing lung cancer.  Around 86% of lung cancer deaths in the UK are caused by tobacco smoking and smoking causes more than a quarter of deaths due to cancer in the UK (43 000 deaths in 2007).  For further information click here.

At the end of the second world war over 80% of men smoked some form of tobacco.  Since that time the percentage of smokers has gradually fallen to around 22% of men.  As the numbers of smokers has fallen the incidence of lung cancer in men has also fallen.  The incidence of smoking in women increased slightly between 1948 and 1970 and this is reflected by the slight rise in the incidence of cases of lung cancer in women.  (Don't forget it can take many years for cancer to develop).  The graph below is taken from the Cancer Research UK website

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