Study: Native Hawaiian, African American smokers have high cancer risk

University of Hawaii Cancer Center studies show Native Hawaiian and African American smokers have a higher risk of acquiring lung cancer than smokers of other ethnic/racial groups.

The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that for the same amount of smoking, Native Hawaiians and African Americans have twice the risk of getting lung cancer than Japanese Americans and Latinos, with the risk of Caucasian smokers being intermediate.

This new analysis of almost 5,000 cases in the “Multi-ethnic Cohort Study” shows major differences in the risk of lung cancer among smokers from various ethnic/racial groups.

The findings also suggest that the higher risk of lung cancer for African American smokers and lower risk for Japanese American smokers are due to differences in smoking intensity (the amount of nicotine and tobacco carcinogens inhaled from each cigarette). However, the increased risk for Native Hawaiian smokers remains unexplained.

“It is still not clear why these striking ethnic disparities exist in the risk of lung cancer,” said Loic Le Marchand, principal investigator and UH Cancer Center epidemiologist. “By better understanding differences in the way people smoke and the biological changes that lead to lung cancer, we hope to help reduce ethnic/racial disparities in the occurrence of this deadly disease.”

In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians have the highest rate of lung cancer compared to other ethnic groups. In 2016, Hawaii State Department of Health statistics reported an overall smoking rate in Hawaii of 14 percent; however, 27 percent of Native Hawaiians were smokers.

“Native Hawaiians should particularly be advised to not start smoking or to quit if they are still smoking,” Le Marchand said. “We know that smoking is a major cause of lung cancer in all populations and that avoiding smoking lowers one’s risk of lung cancer substantially. Smoking causes 90 percent of all lung cancers and increases the risk of many other types of cancer and chronic conditions.”

In order to understand the ethnic/racial disparities linked to lung cancer, UH Cancer Center researchers have initiated a new study and seek to recruit 300 volunteers of Japanese, Caucasian or Hawaiian ancestry who are current cigarette smokers. The objectives are to identify biomarkers in blood and urine that are associated with lung cancer risk and to improve understanding of the mechanisms underlying the risk.

  1. Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. February 15, 2019 5:56 am Reply

    For decades politicians, academics, and the people of Hawaii have been bombarded with claims that Native Hawaiians have the worst victimhood statistics for virtually every terrible disease or social dysfunction: heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, drug abuse, poverty, incarceration — the list of woes is endless. Such claims are presented along with statistics which appear to prove them. The claims, sometimes accompanied by statistical “studies”, are published in newspapers or academic journals to influence public opinion to feel sympathy for those poor, downtrodden Native Hawaiians and to build political support for racial entitlement programs.

    Victims are assigned to the category of “Native Hawaiian” without regard to the other ethnicities that make up a majority of their ancestry. This greatly inflates the alleged victimhood of Native Hawaiians while at the same time depriving those other ethnicities of the victimhood recognition to which the facts entitle them. Anyone with even a single drop of Hawaiian native blood is classified as “Native Hawaiian” and solely as Native Hawaiian.

    The opposite sort of one-drop rule is used when counting Caucasians. A person whose ancestry is 7/8 Caucasian might be classified as Filipino merely because the father has 1/8 Filipino ancestry. These two applications of the one-drop rule grossly increase the apparent level of Native Hawaiian victimhood while also reducing the apparent level of Caucasian victimhood.

    This is extremely obvious and totally ignored by the tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry who totally ignore this concept and knowingly produce bogus statistical results — An accurate assessment of ethnic victimhood would require researchers to have the courage to ask the politically incorrect but scientifically essential question: What are you? What racial groups are present in your ancestry, and what is the percentage of each one?

    If victimhood is to be ascribed as being genetically caused by or correlated with race, then each racial group should be awarded a fractional victimhood tally mark for each victim, equal to the fraction of that race in the ancestry of each victim. If victimhood is to be ascribed as being caused by ethnic lifestyle or culture or religion, then a researcher should create for each lifestyle or culture or religion a list of activities or attitudes that characterize each culture or religion, and award fractional points to each of them according to the activities or attitudes of each victim.

    Each point made in this comment is discussed at length, with proof, at

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