Self Stigma

Lung cancer stigma comes from its association with smoking. Here are a few things for you to remember if you smoked:

  • Most people start smoking when they are young and become addicted before they are able to understand the risks.
  • Quitting smoking can be very difficult. Research shows that, for some people, nicotine (the addictive substance in cigarettes) is as addictive as cocaine and heroin.
  • Most people who get lung cancer today started smoking before we knew all the harmful effects.
  • We do not fully understand why some people get lung cancer and others do not. Although smoking greatly increases a person’s risk for lung cancer, most people who smoke never develop the disease. In contrast, nearly 20% of people who develop lung cancer never smoked.
  • While lung cancer is seen as “the smoker’s disease,” smoking increases the risk for developing other diseases as well, including heart disease, stroke and many other cancers.