Scientific Evidence Portal
Passive Smoke: an Institutional Problem - Fabricated Risks Attributed to Passive Smoke | FORCES International
Article Published: 2006
Published By: FORCES International
The case against passive smoke (environmental tobacco smoke or ETS) is mainly based on statements that it causes lung cancer or cardiovascular disease in non-smokers. This short analysis examines what is considered the strongest evidence, that on lung cancer. What follows applies equally to the risk for cardiovascular disease and for any other disease attributed to ETS, as the methodologies of the studies are essentially the same.
The possible risk of ETS for lung cancer could be determined if the frequency of lung cancer is greater in non-smokers exposed to ETS. Because it is impossible to find persons never exposed to ETS, the only real possibility is to observe if the frequency of lung cancer is higher or lower in non-smokers that are more or less exposed. A study would then require a reliable measurement of both the extent of individual exposure and of the frequency of lung cancers in different groups of non-smokers. Because there are many other proven risks for lung cancer, a study also must find whether individual lung cancers in non-smokers might be linked to other risks and not to ETS.
The following analysis reveals that no study of ETS and lung cancer has met these simple requirements, and therefore was not capable of determining risk.