Background: The effect of smoking on human papillomavirus (HPV) activity and subsequent dysplasia and neoplasia remains controversial.
Objective: To determine any reported effects of smoking on either HPV activity or HPV-related dysplasia/cancer using retrospective analysis of the literature from 1966 through 1998 via Toxline and PubMed to search for "smoking," "papillomavirus," and "cancer."
Conclusion: Several recent large studies demonstrated that smoking was associated with a greater incidence of cervical, vulvar, penile, anal, oral, and head and neck cancer in a dose-dependent fashion, while other studies did not show any correlation between smoking and cervical dysplasia after multivariate adjustment. Recent studies have also indicated that smoking may be more closely related to high-grade lesions of the cervix and vulva. These data provide evidence of an association between HPV, smoking, and cancer. Progression of dysplasia likewise seems to be associated with smoking. Several groups have attempted to discern whether the connection between smoking and cervical cancer is from local immunosuppression and/or from direct carcinogenic effects.