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39% of UK lung donations 'from smokers'

More than one in three lung transplants that took place in the last three years have been from donors who smoked, Health Minister Earl Howe has revealed.

Lord Howe said that between April 2009 and 2012, 39 percent of lung transplants had been from donors "with a past history of smoking".

Undated handout picture of a woman smoker
Lord Howe said 39 percent of lung transplants were from donors 'with a past history of smoking' Credit: PA Wire

In a written reply to a query, Lord Howe said each lung was carefully evaluated so it would not be wasted if it was "clinically viable" and someone could benefit from the organ.

Due to a shortage of donor organs, the patient's probability of survival is greater if lungs from smokers are accepted than if they were declined.

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