We are pleased to announce that Volume 126 of the IARC Monographs is now available online.
Opium, an addictive narcotic drug, is produced from the poppy plant (Papaver somniferum) and can be consumed as a variety of preparations, either by smoking or by ingestion. Opium is consumed in minimally processed form by approximately 5 million people worldwide.
The Working Group evaluated opium consumption as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) on the basis of sufficient evidence of cancer in humans. Opium consumption causes cancers of the larynx, lung, and urinary bladder. There is also limited evidence that opium consumption causes cancers of the oesophagus, pancreas, pharynx, and stomach. The Group 1 classification applies to all types of opium preparation and methods of consumption, but not to opium derivatives and opioids, which were not evaluated by the Working Group.