Passive smoking and lung cancer

Lancet. 1983 Sep 10;2(8350):595-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(83)90680-3.


Questions about the smoking habits of parents and spouses were asked in a case-control study involving 1338 lung cancer patients and 1393 comparison subjects in Louisiana, USA. Non-smokers married to heavy smokers had an increased risk of lung cancer, and so did subjects whose mothers smoked. There was no association between lung cancer risk and paternal smoking. The association with maternal smoking was found only in smokers and persisted after controlling for variables indicative of active smoking. It is not clear whether the results reflect a biological effect associated with maternal smoking or the inability to control adequately for confounding factors related to active smoking. This preliminary finding deserves further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution