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Filtered Cigarettes Blamed for Huge Rise in Type of Lung Cancer
Date:9/6/2007

Adenocarcinoma, once rare, now the leading lung cancer killer, study says

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The introduction of filtered and low-tar cigarettes in the 1950s coincided with a steady rise in the incidence of a once-rare type of lung cancer that's now the most common form of the disease, a new study finds.

Decades ago, squamous cell carcinoma was the most common form of lung cancer. But between 1950 and 2007, adenocarcinoma became the most frequently diagnosed lung malignancy, as the market share of filtered cigarettes soared from just 1 percent to almost 100 percent, the study authors said.

Described as a "correlation of evidence," the apparent link was uncovered by study author Dr. Gary M. Strauss, medical director of the lung cancer program at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. He presented the findings Wednesday at the 12th World Conference on Lung Cancer, in Seoul, South Korea.

Strauss and his colleagues suggest that the impact of filtered cigarettes on adenocarcinoma rates is due to the introduction of filter vents in filtered cigarettes, making it easier to draw in smoke. These vents allow smokers to take bigger and deeper puffs, thereby inhaling carcinogens further into the bronchial passages and lungs.

"The rise of adenocarcinoma is consistent with changes in cigarette design and composition -- which the cigarette industry indicated were safer -- that they introduced in response to mounting evidence that smoking causes other forms of lung cancer," Strauss said.

"And so the point is that the tobacco industry, through how they changed the cigarette over time and deceived the public for decades about its safety, has created an epidemic," he added.

Philip Morris USA's media affairs manager, David Sutton, said he could not comment on the findings. "We cannot comment on a study we have not had a chance to review. Smoking is addictive and causes serious dise
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