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Gladys Rasmussen    

— A Californian health researcher who was one of the early scientific researchers into the links between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. —  

Some key documents

1950–54: March In 1950, scientists and doctors in Southern California had been "astonished to learn that lung cancer was killing 400% more people than it did in 1930. Teams of research experts quietly went to work in Los Angeles area hospitals and laboratories.

    In March 1954, after exhaustive investigations these doctors and scientists were convinced that smog and cigarets are the prime causes of lung cancer:

Dr Paul Kotin, assistant professor of pathology at the USC School of Medicine, reports that air pollution (smog) is a major cause of lung cancer.

    We are creating a marked cancer hazard in the air over our big cities," Dr. Kotin says, "by pumping all manner of fumes and gases into the atmosphere."
Also a team of four scientists from Californian Department of Health — Lester Breslow, La Mar Hoaglin, Gladys Rasmussen (all of the Bureu of Chronic Diseases, and Herbert Abrams (ex Chief of Adult Health, Califonian State Department of Public Health [now Medical Director Health and Welfare Fund, Chicago]) — implicated cigarets.)
"Our data," they say, "parallel that of other recent well controlled studies: all indicate a positive correlation between cigaret smoking and lung cancer." And," they emphasize, "the correlation increases steadily with the amount of cigaret smoking."

    "Their reports, based on a survey including interviews with 518 California, lung cancer victims reveal some amazing facts.
  • Seventy-four per cent of all lung cancer patients reported smoking one or more packs of cigarets a day for the past 20 years, compared with only 42 per cent of their healthy control group:
  • Among men aged 50 to 59 the prevelance of lung cancer is four to eleven times greater among smokers than among non smokers.
  • And among the same age group, prevelance of lung cancer is anywhere from 7 to, 27 times greater among heavy smokers as among non-smokers.
  • Approximately two-fifths of all lung cancer patients stated they had a "cigaret cough" which usually started many years before the onset of the illness.
In conclusion, this team, of medical research experts say: "The data in our study constitutes still another link in the chain of evidence connecting lung cancer with cigaret smoking, evidence which the New England Journal of Medicine notes to be "so strong as to be considered proof within the everyday meaning of the word!"
They also found correlations with certain occupations

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