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Article |

You've Regressed a Long Way, Baby

Alfred Soffer, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(12):1779. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630370009008.
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A leading cigarette company bestows praise on the modern woman by reminding her that "you've come a long way, baby." This eminently successful slogan suggests that smoking is a social freedom that was hard to come by and, by inference, one that should not be relinquished easily. This is a fascinating social observation, but to what ends this so-called freedom? Smoking has provided for women the dubious distinction of sharing with men the tragic effects of pulmonary emphysema, chronic bronchitis, carcinoma of the lung, and a host of other "blessings" derived from tobacco. Cancer of the lung is now responsible for 6% of deaths in women caused by malignancies. This incidence is exceeded only by cancer of the breast, gastrointestinal tract, and uterus. This phenomenally increased rate of lung cancer among women of all ages is directly related to their smoking habits, since the risk of cancer increases in


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