Protecting Your Lungs

Key Points

  • Breathing in dangerous chemicals can cause lung cancer.
  • The more chemicals you breathe in, the higher your lung cancer risk.
  • Cigarette smoking is the number one lung cancer risk factor.
  • Take steps to protect your lungs from lung cancer all of the time.

Take action

Click on each picture to learn more about how to protect yourself from each lung cancer risk factor. Tell your doctor if you have a family history of lung cancer or if you have been exposed to any of these lung cancer risk factors.


Smoking causes lung cancer, COPD and many other illnesses. To protect you lungs,

  • + Don't start smoking
  • + Quit smoking if you smoke
  • + Avoid second hand smoke

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  • Test your home for radon. You can do this with inexpensive, easy-to-use test kits sold at hardware stores.

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Industrial Compounds

  • If you are exposed to dust and fumes at work, ask your health and safety advisor about how you are being protected.

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  • Help fight pollution. Work with others in your community to help clean up the air you and your family breathe. Get life-saving updates on your local air quality and learn how you can help fight for air with the American Lung Association's State of the Air® app.