New model estimates smoking's legal attribution to lung cancer cases

June 17, 2014 by William Raillant-Clark, University of Montreal
New model estimates smoking's legal attribution to lung cancer cases

(Medical Xpress)—A newly developed model estimates smoking's attribution to lung cancer and finds that more than 90 percent of Quebec lung cancer cases can be legally attributed to smoking, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health published by Jack Siemiatycki of the University of Montreal's Institute for Public Health Research. Legal attribution incorporates the notion of "more likely than not" or equivalently that the probability of causation due to smoking was greater than 0.50.

The model is based on the dose-response relationship between and lung cancer, and the smoking pattern among . Researchers measured the extent of smoking through a pack-years measure, which integrates the amount smoked per day and the number of years that the person smoked. The model was developed in response to a request from lawyers of a in Quebec against the tobacco industry on behalf of patients with lung cancer that was allegedly caused by smoking.

The researchers estimated that the amount of smoking required to satisfy the legal criterion of "more likely than not" is between 3 and 12 pack-years, depending on the modelling assumptions. Based on smoking patterns among lung cancer cases in Quebec, they further estimated that more than 90 percent of the cases satisfied even the most conservative of these thresholds and could be legally attributed to smoking.

"In Quebec, where there were about 6,200 newly diagnosed cases of per year from 1995 to 2006, this translates to a total of about 5,700 cases per year that would satisfy the criterion of probability of causation greater than 0.50," the researchers explain.

Explore further: The scarier the better—screening results that make smokers stop smoking

More information: Jack Siemiatycki, Igor Karp, Marie-Pierre Sylvestre, and Javier Pintos.  (2014). "Estimating the Proportion of Cases of Lung Cancer Legally Attributable to Smoking: A Novel Approach for Class Actions Against the Tobacco Industry." American Journal of Public Health. e-View Ahead of Print. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302040

Related Stories

The scarier the better—screening results that make smokers stop smoking

May 28, 2014
Screening for lung cancer leads to early detection and treatment, but can it also make people stop smoking before they get cancer? The answer is that it depends on the seriousness of the results, according to a study published ...

Annual lung cancer screening benefits outweigh risks for some

December 31, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—You may have heard in recent days about new guidelines on lung cancer screening put forth by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

Improved diagnostic performance of low-dose computed tomography screening

June 16, 2014
Investigators of the COSMOS (Continuous Observation of SMOking Subjects) study show good compliance and patient survival outcomes using a 5-year low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening protocol in individuals at high-risk ...

S. Korea state insurer sues three tobacco makers

April 14, 2014
South Korea's state health insurer said Monday it had filed a lawsuit against three domestic and foreign tobacco makers, seeking damages of 53.7 billion won ($51.6 million) for payouts over smoking-related illnesses.

Analysis finds wide variation in lung cancer rates globally

May 16, 2014
The only recent comprehensive analysis of lung cancer rates for women around the world finds lung cancer rates are dropping in young women in many regions of the globe, pointing to the success of tobacco control efforts. ...

Rising tobacco epidemic in Asia linked to elevated risk of death

June 11, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A new study estimates that tobacco smoking has been linked to approximately 2 million deaths among adult men and women in Asia in recent years and predicts a rising death toll.

Recommended for you

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

January 16, 2018
WASHINGTON-(Jan. 16, 2018)-Tumors have come up with ingenious strategies that enable them to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. So, a research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers ...

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

Researchers develop a remote-controlled cancer immunotherapy system

January 15, 2018
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

Dietary fat, changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis

January 15, 2018
Prostate tumors tend to be what scientists call "indolent" - so slow-growing and self-contained that many affected men die with prostate cancer, not of it. But for the percentage of men whose prostate tumors metastasize, ...

Pancreatic tumors may require a one-two-three punch

January 15, 2018
One of the many difficult things about pancreatic cancer is that tumors are resistant to most treatments because of their unique density and cell composition. However, in a new Wilmot Cancer Institute study, scientists discovered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.