Pipe smoking and cancers of the upper digestive tract

Giorgia Randi, Lorenza Scotti, Cristina Bosetti, Renato Talamini, Eva Negri, Fabio Levi, Silvia Franceschi, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pipe smoking has been related to the risk of cancers of the upper digestive and respiratory tract, but quantification of the risk for exclusive pipe smokers is still limited. To analyse the association between exclusive pipe smoking and cancers of the upper digestive tract, we used data from a series of case-control studies conducted in Italy and Switzerland between 1984 and 1999. After excluding cigarette and cigar smokers, 41 male oral and pharyngeal cancer cases, 52 male oesophageal cancer cases and 1,032 male controls were included in the present analysis. Odds ratios (OR) of cancers were estimated by the mean of unconditional multivariate logistic regression, including terms for age, study centre, education, body mass index, and alcohol drinking. Compared to never smokers, exclusive pipe smokers had an OR of 8.7 [95% confidence intervals (CI): 4.0-18.9] of all upper digestive tract cancers. The OR was 12.6 for oral and pharyngeal and 7.2 for oesophageal cancer. Pipe smokers who were also heavy alcohol drinkers had an OR of 38.8 (95% CI: 13.6-110.9) as compared to never smokers and light drinkers. Thus, pipe smoking and heavy alcohol drinking appears to interact at least on a multiplicative model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049-2051
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2007


  • Case-control study
  • Digestive cancer
  • Pipe smoking
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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