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From Glamour Magazine
March 2002

You’ve known that smoking is unhealthy since they passed around that icky black preserved lung in health class. But how much have you learned since? A recent survey of 1,000 U.S. smokers by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, uncovered these myths:

MYTH #1: Really, I won’t get cancer. Astonishingly, nearly 30 percent of smokers polled didn’t think they were at any greater risk for lung cancer than nonsmokers in their age group. Truth is, you’re about 10 times more likely to get the disease if you light up.

MYTH #2: I’m safe-1 have only a few rigs a day! About a third of those surveyed believed that a person who lights up just five times a day shares the same low cancer risk as a person who never takes a puff. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Studies show that even one cigarette a day can damage the cells in your lungs, alter their DNA and, over time, cause cancer.

MYTH #3: I’ll be OK even if I do get sick. Most frightening of all, 56 percent of those polled believed half the people diagnosed with lung cancer will live. In reality, only 10 to 15 of every 100 patients survive even five years. Ready to kick butts for good? Call your doctor for guidance or visit lungusa.org/ tobacco for help.

-ELISABETH EGAN