First up:

Lung Cancer on the Rise in Nonsmokers – But Why?
Rates in U.S. and U.K. doubled since 2008 without obvious clues

DENVER — The proportion of lung cancer patients who never smoked more than doubled from 2008 to 2014, a British investigator reported here.

Never-smokers accounted for 13% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases at the beginning of the study period and rose steadily to 28% by November 2014. Women accounted for two-thirds of the nonsmokers who developed NSCLC, which was associated with nonspecific symptoms or no symptoms in a majority of cases.

Via Facebook:

Why Are Many Young People Who Never Smoked Getting Lung Cancer?

Anyone who knew her would tell you that Jill Costello hated to lose. She was a fierce competitor as the coxswain for the CAL Berkeley crew team and the type of person that others gravitated to, pulled in by her easy smile and energetic enthusiasm. Jill had an intensity that seemed to radiate out of her. Young, beautiful and athletic, Jill was just 21 years old when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She had never smoked a cigarette. She was dead less than a year later.

Jill’s story is tragic but sadly it is not unique: Natalie DiMarco, a 32-year-old mom of two from Petaluma, California; Taylor Bell Duck, a 21-year-old Division 1 athlete from Greenville, South Carolina; Ingrid Nunez, first diagnosed when she was an 18-year-old freshman at Cornell University; Corey Wood, a 22-year-old marathoner who once summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jeff Julian, 39-year-old former swimmer for team USA and eight-time All-American and Olympic trials finalist. The parallels in their stories are striking — all young, athletic, and healthy — and none of them ever smoked. Yet all developed advanced stages of lung cancer.

Why? Most likely because smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.

H/T Rose for Smoking Kills: The Revolutionary Life of Richard Doll.

A battle royal emerged in the 1950s with the world’s most eminent geneticist-statistician, Sir Ronald Fisher, over the smoking-and-cancer evidence. Keating gives a lively account of this bitter gloves-off confrontation. Fisher, attuned to experimental studies of randomly assigned agricultural plots, argued that epidemiological studies without randomization were not ‘scientific’. To underscore the point, he hypothesized the existence of an underlying gene that caused both smoking behaviour and a disposition to lung cancer. He wrote abusive letters to Hill, and suggested publicly that he be stripped of his FRS for having perpetrated poor science.

We don’t really know what causes cancer. Nor, it seems, do we know what causes Alzheimer’s disease (H/T Joe L):

Scientists fear Alzheimer’s ‘may be passed on in surgeries’

Alzheimer’s disease may be passed on through blood transfusions and contaminated surgical instruments, scientists have suggested.

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44 Responses to Why?

  1. Some French bloke says:

    Lung Cancer on the Rise in Nonsmokers – But Why?

    Seems that if they prove unable to answer that one, professional antismokers are set to find themselves in the hot seat any time now, to the point that their own butts will soon be producing hazardous levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. It’s high time they took ‘remedial action’ against themselves!

  2. The most obvious answer is found in the only significant finding of the second largest case-control international study on ETS and lung cancer ever done: the Boffetta 1998 WHO study. Their one solid finding was that children of smokers, who in the period under question (1930s through 80s) were most assuredly regularly exposed at home — the idea of not smoking in one’s own home was insane at that time, in any event, the children of smokers eventually got lung cancer 22% *LESS* often than children of nonsmokers.

    Nowadays, with far fewer smokers and with many of the ones left having been brainwashed enough that they only smoke outside the home, many children are evidently being denied those early boosts to their carcinogenic immune systems and go on to develop lung cancer.

    Perhaps some day in the future we’ll see parents charged with child abuse unless they regularly light up and blow healthful smoke into their toddlers’ faces….

    Now wouldn’t THAT just take the cake, eh?


    • Some French bloke says:

      The most obvious answer is found in […] the Boffetta 1998 WHO study.

      Lots of equally obvious answers are to be found in international statistics: concomitant variations between smoking rates and lung cancer (and ‘smoking related’ diseases and conditions generally) are only there if you’re deliberately looking for them, and ready to dismiss any contrary evidence out of hand. In the words of Don Oakley “in the beginning were the numbers” and “the numbers were fruitful and multiplied”, but on the other hand, discrepancies also come “thick and numberless as the gay motes that people the sun-beams” (John Milton).

      Out of 52,049 Japanese male victims of lung cancer in 2013 (crude rate: 84.14/100,000), only 2 (crude rate: < 0.01/100,000) were under the age of 25, and 0 under 20, which means a 60 year lag-time would have to be posited, and all confounding factors discounted, to link childhood SHS exposure to either more or less LC later on…

      many children are evidently being denied those early boosts to their carcinogenic immune systems and go on to develop lung cancer

      This clearly points to the hormesis theory, or even to Samuel Hahnemann’s homeopathy principle of “like cures like” (similia similibus curentur). From P.R.J. Burch’s Biology of Cancer: a new approach (1976):
      “Thus, they [i.e. Haenszel et al, Lung cancer mortality as related to residence and smoking histories (1962)] found that men with a lifetime residence in urban areas had a substantially lower mortality from lung cancer than those whose period of urban residence was under 1 year, 1-9 years, 10-39 years, and 40 years and over but less than a lifetime residence.”

      What’s most disappointing in that very short sub-chapter on Urban-Rural Differences (just one page out of 398) is Burch’s use of the “adjusted for smoking history” crap in “studies” to arrive at this conclusion that “The hypothesis that atmospheric pollution causes lung cancer appears at least as suspect as the assertion: ‘lung cancer is almost entirely due to cigarette smoking'”

      Anyway, the last paragraph of P.R.J. Burch’s chapter on ‘Smoking and cancer’ in his 1976 thesis is worth quoting from: “Most of the misconceptions concerning positive associations between smoking and disease appear to arise from rather elementary lapses in scientific logic and widespread failure to appreciate that genetic inheritance cannot be disregarded when we analyse the ’causes’ of habit and disease.
      […] The eagerness to identify causes of disease that (unlike inheritance) might be readily controlled, must be applauded as wholly admirable. Unfortunately, it seems that excessive zeal leads only too often to methodological shortcuts, spurious argument, premature conclusions and the sacrifice of truth.”

      • ” In the words of Don Oakley “in the beginning were the numbers” and “the numbers were fruitful and multiplied” ”

        Frenchie, I’m glad to see there’s another Oakley fan out there! It’s hard to get hold of his “Slow Burn” book. I corresponded with him years ago and believe he told me he’d self-published and had a thousand or 1500 printed up and they were almost all gone. He did a WONDERFUL job of pulling stuff together and writing about it in a VERY relaxed and friendly, almost story-telling style.


        • Some French bloke says:

          An ‘old school’ journalist who lived to see all the incremental madness unfold, with his wits about him.

  3. cherie79 says:

    I think I may have commented on this before. On the lung cancer forum I belong to I have noticed the number of relatively young, sometimes very young, never smoking women getting LC. Many are quite indignant as they assumed never smokers did not get LC. Clearly there is more to it than smoking, given the hysteria about smoking over the past years I often wonder if something is being hidden, maybe something the Government could be sued for? I never stopped smoking apart for a few weeks, considering after 50 years any damage was long since done and I have my 5 year scan this afternoon so wish me luck, just hope 9/11 not an auspicious date! I will let you know.

    • margo says:

      “I often wonder if something is being hidden …” – I’ve been saying this for years, Cherie (and I’m not alone). For starters, check out Alice Stewart (and the book called ‘Alice Stewart, the Woman who Knew Too Much’), an epidemiologist and contemporary of Doll, who might well have done that first 1950s study to find out why lung cancer rates had suddenly risen, if she hadn’t been pushed aside and suppressed. And if she had, the results would have been very different. Her study would have been very different, too – she’d have asked a thousand questions about everything under the sun, not just those seven about smoking that Doll asked!

      • Some French bloke says:

        Alice Stewart may well have been the very first casualty of the anti-smoking cult. Others, such as R.A. Fisher, Kitty Little, Alexander Baron, Simon Wolff, and Judith Hatton also stood their ground against the advancing steamroller. Their research, articles, and essays are a great help and an inspiration.

    • Joe L. says:

      I too have long suspected there is some sort of cover-up going on.

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    Non-smoking parents, non-smoking university, non-smoking workplace, non-smoking bars and restaurants: stage IV lung cancer. Blame the smokers ?

  5. RdM says:

    “Alzheimer’s disease may be passed on through blood transfusions and contaminated surgical instruments, scientists have suggested.”

    But of course,

    Tina Leonard, the organisation’s head of advocacy said: “While the findings certainly sound alarming, there is currently no evidence that the disease is a contagious condition and can be transmitted from person to person via a medical procedure.”

    Her comments were supported by Brian Lawlor, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry of St James’s Hospital, who said the study is small and that more work is needed.

    Drawing conclusions at this stage is premature, he added.

    The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age, along with genetics and lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.

    despite numerous studies showing much reduced risk among smokers for AD.

    From the old Forces Archive (I find the new site so much more unwieldy I hardly ever go there!)

    SMOKERS HAVE REDUCED RISKS OF ALZHEIMER’S AND PARKINSON’S DISEASE Patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have a considerably decreased life expectancy, with the entire course of the disease taking an average of about eight years. AD is defined by a specific combination of neuropathologic features that include neuronal loss in particular regions of the brain and a high density of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. It is hard to distinguish during life because of other damage and dementias. As many as 80% of the cases may be unrecognized by general practitioners.

    Acute administration of low doses of nicotine improved mental processes and may be protective in AD. This possibility was first put forward by Appel, who noted that only 6 out of 30 patients had smoked at any time in their lives. Since that time, nineteen case control studies have been published and are considered here. The overall from these showed a clear negative association, 15 out of 18 studies reporting a lower risk of AD in men and women who had smoked.

    Of the 19 studies, 15 found a reduce risk in smokers, and none found an increased risk. And smoking is clearly associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, another disease in which nicotine receptors are reduced. The fact that acute administration of nicotine improves attention and information processing in AD patients adds further plausibility to the hypothesis.

    “The risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreased with increasing daily number of cigarettes smoked before onset of disease. In six families in which the disease was apparently inherited, the mean age of onset was 4-17 years later in smoking patients than in non- smoking from the same family.”
    (Conelia M. van Duljn MSC Albert Hoffman Md., Erasmus Univ. Md. School)

    Amaducci LA, et al. A case-controlled study of an Italian population. Neurology, 1986, 36:922-931.
    Barclay L, Kheyfets S. Tobacco used in Alzeimer’s disease. Prog. Clin. Bho. Res 0989, 317:189-194.
    Brenner DE, et al. Relationship between cig. smoking and Alz. disease. Neurology 1993, 43:293-300.
    Broe GA et al. A case -controlled study of alz. in Australia. Neurology 1990, 40:1698-1707.
    Chandra V. et al. Case study of the late on-set ‘probable Alz. disease’. Neurology 1987, 37:1295-1300.
    Dewey ME, et al. Risk factors for Dementia. Liverpool, Int. Geriatric Psychiatry 1988, 3:245-249.
    Ferini-Strambi, et al. Clinical Aspect of Alz. Disease with pre-senile on-set. Neuro Epidem 1990, 9:34-49.
    French LR, et al. Case-control study of dementia of Alz. type. Am J Epidemiol 1985, 121:414-421.
    Graves, AB, et al. Case controlled study of Alz. disease. Neurol 1990, 28:766-774.
    Grossberg, GT, et al. Smoking as a risk factor for Alz disease. Am. Geriatric Soc. 1989, 37:819.
    Hebert LE, et al. Relation of smoking and alcohol to Alz disease. Amer. J Epidemiol 1992, 135:347-355.
    Heyman A, et al. Alz disease: a study of epidem aspects. Am Neurol 1984, 15:335-341.
    Hofman A, van Duijn. Alz disease, Parkinson’s disease, and smoking. Neurobiol Aging 1990, 11:295.
    Jones GMM, et al. Smoking and dementia of Alz type. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1987, 50:1383.
    Joya CJ, et al. Risk factors in clinically-diagnosed Alz disease. SA Neuroniol Aging 1990, 11:296.
    Katzman R, et al. Develop of dementing ill. in 80 yr. old volunteer cohort. Am Neurol 1989, 25:317-324.
    Kondo, K Yamashita I. Case study of Alz in Japan. Biol & Social advances. Excerpta Medica 1990, 49-53.
    Shalat SL, et. al. Risk factors for Alz. disease. Neurology 1987, 37:1630-1633.
    Soininen H, et al. Clinical and etiological aspects of senile dementia. Eur Neurol 1982, 21:401-410.
    Korten AE, et al. Control informant agr. in case control studies of Alz. Int. J Epidie. 1992, 21:1121-1131.
    Breteler MMB, et al. Epidemiology of Alz disease. Epidemiol Review 1992, 14:59-82.
    Lee PN Statistics, Sutto, UK.

    and another:

    Alcohol and tobacco consumption as risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease: a collaborative re-analysis of case-control studies. EURODEM Risk Factors Research Group | AB Graves, CM van Duijn, V Chandra, L Fratiglioni, A Heyman, AF Jorm, E Kokmen, K Kondo, JA Mortimer and WA Rocca
    Article Published: 1991

    Type: Meta-Analysis
    Significance: Statistically Significant Negative

    Published By: International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol 20, S48-S57


    “Smoking was analysed in three different manners: (1) lifetime prevalence of smoking (ever/never)–this included eight studies; (2) amount smoked (less than or equal to one pack per day versus more than one pack per day)–this included seven studies; and (3) pack-years–including four studies. A statistically significant inverse association between smoking and Alzheimer’s disease was observed at all levels of analysis, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption (p(trend) = 0.0003).”

    • RdM says:

      Should have manually closed italics after “high blood pressure.”

      Wish we could preview…

      Frank, could you perhaps, possibly, fix it & delete this after comment?


      [Vanity… ;=})]

  6. roobeedoo2 says:

    Is it ‘cos we cough? ‘Smoker’s cough’ is always used in the most negative way but could it be we’re coughing up smaller, more poisonous particles from, I don’t know, vehicle exhaust and non-smoking, non-coughers are not?

    What about those fake smelly things people plus into their homes, so they like an orchard, or a tropical breeze? Or aerosol freshners like Fabreeze? People are very liberal with that. What about hairspray? Or hair product that get’s heated up with tongs, hair irons and the like? I don’t know, I don’t use any of that shit but there seemed to be a lot of women’s names in that list of never-smokers getting lung cancer.

    I don’t know where to start looking for these sorts of comparisons. Somebody *cough* ‘Harley’ *cough* has probably posted something about in comments before. Indeed, this idea has probably been discussed here before…


  7. Fredrik Eich says:

    Lung Cancer on the Rise in Nonsmokers – But Why?

    Fukushima 2011?

  8. slugbop007 says:

    [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
    Send to Frank Davis:
    Dipartimento di Statistica, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

    Carol Jagger ( no relation to Mick) I picked her name out from a long list of researchers:
    Carol Jagger – Worked in Milan
    Carol Jagger AXA: Holds the AXA Chair in Epidemiology of Ageing in the Institute of Health and Society.
    AXA: A Multinational insurance company interested in global health and making money.

    Boyle P is also listed often as a researcher. Try finding him on Google. You won’t. Maybe it’s an alias.
    Boyle P
    Author information
    Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy. This paper is from 1997.
    US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
    Lung Cancer. 1997 May;17(1):1-60.
    Cancer, cigarette smoking and premature death in Europe: a review including the Recommendations of European Cancer Experts Consensus Meeting, Helsinki, October 1996.
    Boyle P1.

  9. slugbop007 says:

    A perfect coincidence with your comment of the day.

    According to this newspaper article of January, 2015 2 out of every 3 Quebecers are adversely affected by contact with people who smoke. That’s a new one. Their director, Mario Bujold, is a PR, expert in marketing and an ex-smoker. Like Bloomberg and others.
    The French article has much more detail and exaggerated claims:
    Tobacco Control now claims that 10, 400 die every year from tobacco-related disease. They love to cast a wide net. That is approximately 0.001209302 percent of Quebec’s population (8.6 million). The govenment calls tobacco consumption a scourge that must be eradicated. The Plague was a scourge. Sixty percent of annual deaths in Quebec are from age 75 to 100 plus. The generation who smoked the most is living well into their 80s and 90s.

    Carol Jagger, who I just cited a few minutes ago, wants people to live forever so that her sponsor, AXA (a global life insurance company), can make more money.

  10. cherie79 says:

    Just thought I would let you all know that despite continuing to smoke my five year scan was fine.

  11. jaxthefirst says:

    My never-smoking OH has long said that he believes the real reason that the health lobby has gone crazy-mad with anti-smoking fever is that they darned well know that smoking actually protects people against all sorts of diseases and thus lengthens, rather than shortens, life. This is the last thing that they want the public to know because it would (a) damage the profits of their main sweetie-providers, Big Pharma, and (b) diminish their own personal power as the “only ones who can heal and cure.”

    It is, in his opinion, an exaggerated form of their reaction to claims of cures for major diseases by homoeopathic, alternative or natural methods. Without fail, such claims are dismissed out of hand, branded as “quackery,” or insinuated actually to be dangerous. And those who choose to believe that there might be a grain of truth in these claims are roundly accused of being “gullible,” “naïve,” “conspiracy theorists,” or of “clutching at straws.” Never, ever, has any member of the medical profession, when presented with the idea that a cheap, natural, easily-obtained alternative medicine might be just as effective as Big Pharma’s expensively-produced artificial chemicals, turned round and said: “Well, I’ve never heard of that one, but it sounds interesting and I would definitely believe that it merits some research.” This despite the fact that there are, literally, thousands of such claims flying around these days and although many may well be pie-in-the-sky, the laws of probability would indicate that it’s unlikely that they are all completely, totally and utterly wrong.

    So with these all these young, healthy never-smokers now dropping like flies with lung cancer, it seems that he might well have been right all along …

  12. slugbop007 says:

    The World Bank must have either threatened reprisal or offered a sweet deal to all the countries that ended up signing the antitobacco accord. Any ideas on this subject?

  13. slugbop007 says:

    The Bogus ‘Science’ of Secondhand Smoke
    Gio Batta Gori
    Special to washingtonpost.com
    Tuesday, January 30, 2007; 12:00 AM

    Here is a page from the UCSF. Is that Glantz’s university? Dozens of cigarette TV video ads from yesteryear.

    Next, scroll down to this PDF link from this Google page:
    GIO BATTA GORI secondhand smoke
    Stoking the Rigged Terror of Secondhand Smoke – Cato …
    Mar 14, 2007 – of so-called “secondhand smoke” — or, what the scientific liter- … Gio Batta Gori is a fellow of the Health Policy Center in Bethesda, Md. He is not the only one who has second thoughts about this matter.

    • Yep, Glantz is UCSF, and Dr. Gori is one of the good guys who got raked over the coals by the Antis. The amazing thing about Gori is that they threw him out the window DESPITE his being the head of the prestigious National Cancer Institute!

      – MJM

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