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Clarification: Vol. 38, No. 29

Table 2 of the article "Chronic Disease Reports: Deaths from Lung Cancer--United States, 1986," calculated population-attributable risks and attributable deaths separately for current and former smokers. Results indicated the proportions and numbers of deaths caused by current smoking (assuming the absence of former smoking) and of former smoking (assuming the absence of current smoking). Methods are available (1) to calculate the attributable risks for current and former smoking separately and combined. Overall, 86.7% of lung cancer deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking, 64.4% in current smokers, 22.3% in former smokers.


  1. Morgenstern H, Bursic ES. A method for using epidemiologic data to estimate the potential impact of an intervention on the health status of a target population. J Community Health 1982;7:292-309.

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