Smoking and lung cancer are linked. The facts about what causes cancer in the lungs are no longer mysterious as they are well established in the scientific literature. It is now known that cigarette smoking is what causes lung cancer in 85-90% of all cases.

The carcinogenic effects of smoking cigarettes act directly on the exposed tissue in the lungs over time, and malignancies develop first in the bronchial tubes spreading out to the rest of the lungs. The term bronchogenic carcinoma simply refers to the bronchial origin of the cancer cells.

History of Lung Cancer

The historical facts are pretty clear. Up until tobacco use became common in society, cancer in the lungs was a pretty rare disease. The alarming epidemic of bronchogenic carcinoma followed on the heels of the tobacco industry manufacturing, selling, and distributing their cigarette product in the first half of the 1900's.

Up until this time some clinicians had noticed an increase in the number of cases, but mostly these were likely to be attributed to air pollution or industrial exposures to chemicals.

It was actually a German physician who made the original connection between smoking and lung cancer. He published a paper in 1929 that showed the connection and postulated that lung cancer is caused by smoking because almost all the patients who had the disease that he studied were smokers.

Of course in the first half of the 1900's nobody wanted to believe that the epidemic in cancer of the lung had anything to do with the harmful effects of smoking. In fact they did not even want to believe that smoking was harmful and wanted to continue to believe just what the tobacco manufacturers told them and that is that the effects of tobacco were relaxing and beneficial to the mind. People believed this because there were no facts to prove otherwise.

The real facts about smoking and lung cancer had yet to be established, although many clinicians were starting to become highly suspicious. By mid-century there was an alarming epidemic of bronchogenic carcinoma. The social acceptance of smoking among men and women and the increase in the numbers of smokers in society could not be a coincidence.

The Real Facts About Smoking and Lung Cancer are Established

So the scientific study to find the real facts about smoking and lung cancer and see if that German physician was onto something began in earnest.

Perhaps it was the improvements in the rigors of scientific study, or maybe even the improvements in technology but none the less there was a lot of energy being directed to finding out if bronchogenic carcinoma was caused by smoking and over time the results became so consistent that scientists began to come to the same conclusion over and over again, and that is that lung cancer is caused by smoking cigarettes.

Of course nobody wanted this to be true, least of all the tobacco companies who were making billions of dollars selling their products worldwide. Apparently they thought it might be bad for business if their product was associated with a disease like bronchogenic carcinoma which has always had a very grim prognosis.

The studies continued over the years and findings of those studies formed the basis for the first US Surgeon General Report on Smoking and Health in 1964. The known facts about smoking and lung cancer at this time led to the conclusion that cigarette smoking was an important factor in the cause of cancer of the lung.

Further studies have now proven this fact over and over again, and forty years after the first report, the 2004 US Surgeon General's report states: "The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer."

So those are some of the historical facts about lung cancer and smoking cigarettes. But of all the facts about lung cancer the most important one to pay attention to is this one:

There is no other type of cancer that is so easily preventable.

Author's Bio: 

Explore some of the facts about lung cancer and the tobacco company cover up at where Beverly OMalley provides even more information about the facts on smoking diseases, health effects of smoking, and the answer to the question Why Do People Smoke Cigarettes?