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Home > Lung Diseases > Lung Cancer > Risk Factors

Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

  • Smoking; cigarettes, pipe, cigar, marijuana and non-smoking tobacco
  • Lung Cancer and Smoking Status

Smoking Status

Percentage of all Lung Cancers

Current Smokers

35% to 40%

Former Smokers


Never Smoked

10% to 15%

  • Approximately 87% of lung cancer deaths are direct result of smoking.
  • Breathing in second-hand smoke
  • Having a history of repeated lung infections
  • Having a personal and family history of cancer
  • Working with:
    • Asbestos
    • Radon
    • Radioactive ores such as uranium
    • Chemicals such as:
      • Arsenic
      • Vinyl chloride
      • Nickel chromates
      • Coal products
      • Mustard gas
      • Chloromethyl ethers
      • Fuels such as gasoline
      • Diesel exhaust
  • Living in some cities with air pollution may increase chances of lung cancer
  • Lung scarring from other diseases such as TB (See TB) and pneumonia


2024 American Association for Respiratory Care