Question: why do they claim such a high cancer death rates from smoking and drinking when someone who smokes and drinks dies of old age when people than dont smoke die form cancers that are said to be caused but smoking and drinking.......????

  1. Hi butterflys,

    That is a brilliant question and you are 100% right. There are people who smoke and drink heavily until the day they die, not getting cancer, heart disease or any of the diseases we know are common in these people. On the other hand, there are people that die from these diseases and have never touched a cigarette or a drop of alcohol.

    It really comes down to a game of chance. Not a very fun game mind you, because if you lose, then you get these horrible diseases and might die. BUT, its about risk.

    In the first scenario, where people smoke and drink and don’t get cancer then – lucky them! there are lots of people who ‘get away with it’ but statistics show that these people are fairly rare, especially now because people are living longer.

    Now lets talk about the second scenario, where people get lung cancer when they have never smoked. Its important to know that ‘cancer’ is not just one disease. Each organ is made up of lots of different types of cells and cancer can come from any one of those types of cells. Also, we know that the CAUSE of these cancers can be different. That is the case for lung cancer for example where certain types of lung cancer (the common type) is associated with people who smoke.

    You’ve hit on a sensitive topic actually because there is quite a stigma associated with lung cancer. People assume that everyone who gets lung cancer was a smoker. But – as you pointed out, this is not always the case. Those people have to deal with the stigma and the assumption that they smoked whereas they have just had really bad luck.

    🙁 thanks for your great question!