Ten-year mortality rates for lung cancer and coronary heart disease have been related to cigarette smoking habits in 17 475 male civil servants aged 40-64 and in sample of 8089 male British residents aged 35-69. Both diseases were more frequent in smokers. Lung cancer rates were higher overall for "non-inhalers", particularly in heavy smokers. Tar yield correlated with the risk of lung cancer in non-inhalers but less so in inhalers. Conversely, coronary deaths were more common among inhalers, and the effect of tar/nicotine yield (such as it was) was confined to inhalers. It appears that there are subtle interactions between the amount smoked, the tar/nicotine yield of the cigarette, and the style of smoking. Thus the effects of a change in cigarette characteristics are hard to predict, and they may be different for respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
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