To the editor:
The Journal of the American Medical Assn. reports that lung cancer deaths in women have increased 60 percent between 1990 and 2003, while they have decreased in men over the same time frame, and that lung cancer now kills more women than breast cancer and ovarian cancer combined.
The report also states that women appear to be more genetically susceptible to cigarette smoke than men. And yet, only 85 percent to 90 percent of female victims had a personal smoking history, and many of the smokers only had a history of "social" smoking.
Given that lung cancer has an estimated 20-year lag time, could it be related to the fact that women of my era only began frequenting smoky bars in the '60s and '70s? And is it a coincidence that most servers are women?
We can rightfully assume that while the genetics of females has not changed in the past 35 years, the environment they live in certainly has, and now they are paying the price.
If you are a woman you can, and must, demand that your city provide you with clean public air to breathe. Your life may depend on it.