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Environ Res. 1995 Jan;68(1):3-9.

Lifetime excess risk of death from lung cancer for a U.S. female never-smoker exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.

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Environmental Epidemiology Section, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources, Raleigh 27611, USA.


There is considerable evidence that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the home increases the risk of lung cancer in female nonsmokers. A risk assessment was conducted to estimate the lifetime excess risk of death from lung cancer for a U.S. female never-smoker exposed to ETS in different settings. Relative risks for social and occupational exposures were calculated using a relative risk of 1.185 for home exposure (calculated from a recent metaanalysis of U.S. studies) and the results of studies that compare home exposure to exposures outside the home. Each relative risk was used to convert lung cancer mortality rates for U.S. female never-smokers into a lifetime excess risk, using a formula which accounts for competing causes of death. The excess risk for home exposure is 6.5 x 10(-4) (6.5 excess deaths per 10,000 never-smokers). For social and overall workplace exposures, excess risks range from 1.4 x 10(-4) to 3.6 x 10(-4) and from 9.8 x 10(-6) to 1.4 x 10(-4), respectively. Exposures in offices, restaurants, and bars result in excess risks that range from 1.5 x 10(-4) to 9.0 x 10(-4). All of these estimates are greater than an acceptable risk level of 10(-6). The results of this analysis support efforts to restrict or eliminate smoking in public places and work sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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