There can be no debate that smokers face elevated health risks compared with non-smokers in a majority of cases. The relative risks of lung cancer are typically put at over 20x and sometimes as high as 50x those of a non-smoker. The absolute risk of a non-smoker contracting lung cancer is, however, extraordinarily low and so even a very large multiple of a negligible risk remains quite small. In general the chances of contracting lung cancer as a smoker might be as low as one in ten, or alternatively nine out of ten smokers will not contract lung cancer. While mortality rates suggest a higher proportion of smokers will die in late middle age than non-smoking peers, the chances of dying in late middle age are relatively modest. In general, smoking related illnesses are illnesses of old age.