The Relation of Passive Smoking to Lung Cancer

Annette Stemhagen, Linda Williams Pickle, Elizabeth Fontham

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52 Scopus citations


To evaluate the role of passive smoking in the development of lung cancer among nonsmokers, data were pooled from three large incident case-control interview studies. Ninety-nine lung cancer cases and 736 controls never used any form of tobacco. Overall the adjusted odds ratio for lung cancer among nonsmokers ever living with a smoker was 0.8 (95% confidence interval, 0.5-1.3) rising to 1.2 among those exposed for 40 or more years. Persons living with a spouse who smoked cigarettes were at increased risk (adjusted odds ratio, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 0.8-2.8). When adjusted for age and gender, there was a significant trend in risk with increasing amounts smoked per week by the spouse (P = 0.05) and with cumulative pack-years of exposure (P = 0.03). This effect was limited to females, especially older women whose husbands were heavy smokers. The elevated risk associated with spouse smoking was restricted to squamous and small cell carcinomas (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.9-93), which provides additional evidence linking passive smoking to lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4808-4811
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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