Chapter 5: Smoking and Cancer

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Cancer is undoubtedly the largest health concern of smoking. The public is led to believe that smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of the disease and that 50% of smokers will die from it. Not so readily admitted is the fact that about 50% of non-smokers will die from cancer too.  There is a large body of work to show that smoking causes cancer.  Cancer Research UK states that “In the UK, smoking kills five times more people than road accidents, overdoses, murder, suicide and HIV all put together.” and “Smoking and passive smoking cause nine out of ten lung cancers.”[1] Of course, no reference or citation is given for either statement.

Before going any further I would like to include an excerpt from an article written by Dr Siepmann, M.D. writing for the Journal of Theoretics:[2] 

 …smoking does not cause lung cancer.  It is only one of many risk factors for lung cancer. I initially was going to write an article on how the professional literature and publications misuse the language by saying "smoking causes lung cancer"1,2, but the more that I looked into how biased the literature, professional organizations, and the media are, I modified this article to one on trying to put the relationship between smoking and cancer into perspective.  

Dr Siepmann makes a point that many forget: ‘cause’ and ‘factor’ are different things.  For example, striking a match and putting it to paper will cause a fire; a cause is a sequence of events that will lead to a definite outcome.  A factor, on the other hand, is when an action may possibly cause an outcome.