Cancer is the second leading cause of death in America. Of all forms of cancer, lung cancer kill the most people each year. And those deaths could have been prevented: most are the result of years of smoking. The link between lung cancer and smoking was clearly stated in the Surgeon General's report, "Smoking and Health," in 1964. The evidence has grown steadily stronger since then, and the link is by now common knowledge.
But, even when people learn the facts about lung cancer and smoking, they feel "it can't happen to me." These sympathetic chronicles of ordinary people facing surgery, pain, and death bring home the reality in a way dispassionate facts cannot. Together, the stories and the facts make a friendlier, more compelling version of the curt warning: "Cigarette smoking can be hazardous to your health."