At one point in time, cigarettes were distributed at no cost on college campuses and in the military. Cigarette commercials even claimed that certain brands were doctor recommended. Eventually, the public became educated regarding the dangers of smoking, causing public outcry towards the tobacco companies and even towards the cancer patients. In the eyes of their public, their illness was putting a monetary burden on the insurance pool, and inevitably, their wallets.
Flash forward to 2010—smoking rates have decreased dramatically over past decades because of negative attention towards tobacco companies and smokers in general. However, 1 in 10 of new lung cancer cases in men is not smoking related. Respectively, 1 in 5 cases amongst women have no relation to smoking, and some areas of the country even have rates much higher due to chemical exposure. Moreover, the fact that many doctors buy into public opinion about smoking, makes diagnosing the illness quite difficult. The average age for the onset of lung cancer for smokers is 71. However, many of the non-smoker lung cancer patients are in their 30s and 40s. Often, they go through several rounds of treatment for pneumonia or bronchitis before the cancer is discovered, giving the cells a dangerous amount of time to further mutate.