Editorials

More evidence on the risks of passive smoking

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7486.265 (Published 03 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:265
  1. Ichiro Kawachi, professor of social epidemiology ([email protected])
  1. Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

    But existing evidence is enough to implicate it as a health hazard

    Recently the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed more than 50 studies of passive smoking and lung cancer.1 The pooled excess risk of lung cancer from exposure to spousal smoking was about 20% for women and 30% for men. So what do the two articles featured in this issue add to the evidence on the health hazards of passive smoking, which is already quite extensive (277, 287)?2 3

    Compared with the large number of cases of lung cancer (about 6700) available for the IARC meta-analysis, the report from the EPIC study makes a relatively modest contribution (about 100 newly diagnosed cases).2 The adjusted hazard ratio for lung cancer among people exposed to passive smoking was 1.70 (95% confidence interval 1.11 to 2.60). Some methodological limitations have been noted in …

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