After latest researches in Mexico more then third of lung cancer cases were associated with wood smoke. Moreover this patients were non-smokers, but they had used traditional wood-burning stoves to funnel the smoke outdoors.

Anyway tobacco smoking is still the major cause of lung cancer, but a recent study reveals that the disease can be caused various other types of smoke as well.

People in many countries still use wood and other solid fuels for heating and cooking. Some studies have found potential health hazards of the smoke produced through these. A study in Brazil showed that wood-burning stoves may raise the risk of mouth and throat cancers, while others have found that smoke from wood and other sources may contribute to chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. However, nowadays is still insufficient evidence to tie wood smoke to lung cancer.

The study in Mexico show in overall that 39 percent of the lung cancer cases were associated with wood smoke, while 37 percent were linked to tobacco smoking. The rest could not be clearly tied to either. Of the 24 study patients with cancer associated with wood smoke, 22 were women living in rural, impoverished areas.

An analysis of tumour samples from some patients showed that both wood smoke and tobacco smoke seemed to cause similar molecular changes. Patients in both groups showed increased activity in the tumour-suppressing p53 gene, the gene that is most commonly mutated in cancer.

The findings suggest that wood smoke, like tobacco smoke, could be involved in lung cancer development. It is therefore important, to consider wood smoke exposure as a possible risk factor for the disease i non-smokers.