Steven Stellman - Charcoal cigarette filters and lung cancer risk in Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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      Muscat, J. E., Takezaki, T., Tajima, K., Stellman, S. D.   96 (5) 283-7-

      Abstract: The lung cancer mortality rate has   been lower in Japan than in the United States for several   decades. We hypothesized that this difference is due to the   Japanese preference for cigarettes with charcoal-containing   filters, which efficiently absorb selected gas phase components   of mainstream smoke including the carcinogen   4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone. We analyzed a   subset of smokers (396 cases and 545 controls) from a   case-control study of lung cancer conducted in Aichi Prefecture,   Japan. The risk associated with charcoal filters (73% of all   subjects) was evaluated after adjusting for age, sex, education   and smoking dose. The odds ratio (OR) associated with charcoal   compared with 'plain' cigarette filters was 1.2 (95% confidence   intervals [CI] 0.9, 1.6). The histologic-specific risks were   similar (e.g. OR = 1.3, 95% CI 0.9, 2.1 for adenocarcinoma). The   OR was 1.7 (95% CI 1.1, 2.9) in smokers who switched from 'plain'   to charcoal brands. The mean daily number of cigarettes smoked in   subjects who switched from 'plain' to charcoal brands was 22.5   and 23.0, respectively. The findings from this study did not   indicate that charcoal filters were associated with an attenuated   risk of lung cancer. As the detection of a modest benefit or risk   (e.g. 10-20%) that can have significant public health impact   requires large samples, the findings should be confirmed or   refuted in larger studies.

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