Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and leads to about 80% cancer-related deaths. This applies to both active and passive smokers. Smoking cigars and pipes are likely to cause lung cancer just like smoking cigarettes. Lung cancer does not depend on the quantity of tar that you take in your body. This is because; any amount of resin may cause lung cancer.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Lung Cancer?

Having several or a risk factor does not mean that you will get lung cancer. However, several risk factors can make you develop lung cancer. These risk factors include:

Common Risk Factors

  • Tobacco Smoke: Apart from being a leading cause of lung cancer, it is also a leading risk factor for lung cancer. This applies for direct smokers and secondhand smokers who breathe smoke from others or environmental tobacco smoke.
  • Exposure To Radon: Secondly, radon occurs naturally and is a radioactive gas resulting from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer as stated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It causes lung cancer majorly in nonsmokers, and this is because it exposes the lungs to small amounts of radiation which increases the risk of lung cancer. (1)
  • Exposure To Asbestos And Other Cancer-Causing Agents: People who work in mines, mills and textiles firms where insulation is done are likely to have lung cancer. The risk of having lung cancer is higher in workers exposed to asbestos than those who smoke. Carcinogens such as uranium, arsenic, silica, mustard gas, diesel exhaust, chromium compounds and other inhaled chemicals increase the risk of lung cancer in people especially those working in industries. (2)

Less Common Risk Factors

  • Previous Radiation Therapy: If you happen to have had radiation therapy to the chest for another cancer; then you have a higher risk of lung cancer.
  • Air Pollution: This happens especially in cities, and it increases the risk of lung cancer.
  • Taking Arsenic In Drinking Water: Arsenic is a compound that may be present in drinking water. Hence, if you happen to take it in bulk, it increases the risk of lung cancer.
  • Personal Or Family History Of Lung Cancer: When you happen to have had lung cancer before then, you have a higher danger of developing it again. If any of your family members had lung cancer, then you are likely to have it. The causes and risk factors of lung cancer help in understanding what needs to be done to prevent the occurrence of the disease. (3)


What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer? (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from

American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from

Lung cancer risk factors. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from