From reading Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: Readings for General Psychology by Timothy J. Lawson, I’ve learned that correlation does not imply causation. Many people believe smoking causes lung cancer as they always seem to be linked together, but I’ve known several people who were heavy smokers or had friends who would tell me about their family members who smoked, and they all lived pretty good, long lives. I’m not saying that smoking cigarettes is good for you, or that it doesn’t affect your health, but I just don’t believe that smoking actually causes cancer. I decided to do some research on this correlation, and I found an interesting article by James P. Siepmann, MD.
So, why do people believe smoking causes lung cancer in the first place? Well according to Dr. Siepmann, language is misused on the internet, and messages aren’t interpreted properly. In my opinion, if a message is misread the first time, and you tell someone about it, especially if it’s health-related, chances are the message will spread, and it’ll become a world-famous rumor. Cigarettes and lung cancer go together, it’s not that they don’t, but smoking cigarettes simply increase the risk of getting lung cancer; it doesn’t cause it (Siepmann, J.).People exaggerate. Even if some people already know smoking increases the risk of getting lung cancer, they think the risk is abnormally high. Ironically, it isn’t. The average smoker has an 8% chance of dying from lung cancer, but a nonsmoker has a 1% chance (Siepmann, J.). Just because you don’t smoke, doesn’t mean you aren’t at any risk for lung cancer. I just find it interesting how society makes smoking seem like the worst thing you can do, but what about other risk-factors for lung cancer? What about air pollution, dietary supplements, or arsenic in drinking water (What are the risk factors for lung cancer?)?