• Richie, John (PI)
  • Koo, Linda (PI)
  • Stellman, Steven (PI)
  • Djordjevic, Mirjana (PI)
  • Lazarus, Philip (PI)
  • Richie, John (PI)
  • Djordjevic, Mirjana (PI)
  • Stellman, Steven (PI)
  • Zang, Edith (PI)
  • Zang, Edith (PI)
  • Djordjevic, Mirjana (PI)
  • Lazarus, Philip (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


During the past four decades the cigarette consumption in the U.S.A.
gradually changed from high-nicotine, high-"tar" to low-nicotine, low-
"tar" brands. Concurrently, there was also a gradual shift observed in the
major types of cancer and sites within the lung in cigarette smokers.
These changes went from predominance of squamous cell carcinoma, located
primarily in the bronchi, to adenocarcinoma in the peripheral lung. It is
our working hypothesis that the reduction of the smoke yields of U.S.
cigarettes and especially that of the addicting nicotine (sales weighted
average changed from 2.7 mg in 1955 to 0.85 mg in 1993) resulted in deeper
inhalation of the smoke and thus greater exposure of the peripheral lung
to cigarette smoke carcinogens. Increased exposure is also to be
considered since more intense smoking of low-nicotine cigarettes leads to
higher yields of nicotine and certain carcinogens. Four groups of white
and African-American male and female smokers of low- (1.2) nicotine cigarettes will be studied to assess
the relationship between their smoking habits and their actual exposure to
nicotine, "airborne", and "bloodborne" carcinogens.

Currently, the exposure to nicotine and "tar" is assessed on the basis of
FTC data. These are established with standard machine-smoking parameters
which were developed in 1936. This method does not reflect the smoking
habits of today's cigarette smokers. This project together with the risk
estimates established in Project 1 for the major types of lung cancer
among smokers of cigarettes with low-, medium-, and high-nicotine content,
will result, for the first time, in meaningful estimates of exposure to
nicotine and to nicotine-derived carcinogens for each of the three classes
of cigarettes. The study will also clarify if the low-nicotine cigarette
is indeed less "harmful" than the medium- and high-nicotine cigarette.
This study has major public health implications. Lung cancer remains the
leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.A, while the overall mortality
rate from lung cancer continues to rise. Currently, cigarette smoking
contributes to more than 90% of the lung cancer deaths in American men and
to more than 75% in American women.
Effective start/end date1/1/018/31/08


  • National Cancer Institute: $1,537,103.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $437,114.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $180,442.00


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