Lung Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions

9. What are the risks of getting lung cancer if you are a smoker?

If you smoke cigarettes, you are at much higher risk for lung cancer than a person who has never smoked. The risk of dying from lung cancer is 23 times higher for men who smoke and 13 times higher for women who smoke than for people who have never smoked.

Stopping smoking greatly reduces your risk for developing lung cancer. But after you stop, the risk goes down slowly. Ten years after the last cigarette, the risk of dying from lung cancer drops by 50 percent.

Each U.S. state and territory has a free quitline to provide you with information and resources to help you quit smoking. To reach the quitline in your area, dial toll-free, 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

(Watch the video to learn about the effect smoking can have on an older adult's health. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)