Extract from Hall W. et al.: The genetics of tobacco use: methods, findings and policy implications. Tob Control 2002;11:119-124

Thanks to RA Fisher, genetics has been linked to scepticism about a causal relation between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.1, 2 Fisher3 argued that the association between smoking and lung cancer was explained by shared genes that predisposed people to initiate smoking as young adults and to develop lung cancer in late adulthood. Much use was made of his hypothesis by the tobacco industry to manufacture a spurious controversy about the health effects of smoking, a fact that may have discouraged public health research into the genetic contribution to smoking.1

  1. ·  Kozlowski LT. Rehabilitating a genetic perspective in the study of tobacco and alcohol use. Br J Addiction 1991;86:517–20.[Medline]
  2. ·  Stolley PD. When genius errs: R.A. Fisher and the lung cancer controversy. Am J Epidemiol 1991;133:416–25.[Abstract/Free Full Text]
  3. ·  Fisher RA. Cigarettes, cancer and statistics. Centennial Review 1958;2:151–66.