Health • Eric Moon-shong Tang

When he said he’d found the link between cigarettes and cancer, he wasn’t just blowing smoke.

FINALLY, THE SMOKING GUN. Molecular biologist Eric Moon-shong Tang, of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, knew it was there. So did most other scientists, doctors, and citizens. Now, in a year in which the dishonesty of Big Tobacco became absurdly conspicuous, Tang and a team of scientists found what many have sought for years: irrefutable proof that smoking causes lung cancer.

Evidence of the relationship between tobacco smoke and lung cancer has always been copious but circumstantial; despite countless statistical studies that pointed the finger at tobacco, there had never been a proven link. And given the host of environmental cancer pathogens breathed by people every day, the tobacco companies and their political defenders always had an out. “They

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