Passive Smoking

A Little Bit Of Arithmetic To Understand

Dr. Quintino De Notariis is a nuclear physicist and a reader-contributor of FORCES. About the following statement of ours:

What would 30% increased risk (of contracting cancer because of passive smoke) mean, even if it were true? Simply this: that the possibilities of a continuously exposed non smoker to avoid getting lung cancer would go from 99.990% to 99.987%, that is, they would decrease by 0.003%.

he writes: 'Don't you think that it would be appropriate and useful to clarify the origin of that statement? I am sure that many readers would like to understand what it means. I therefore take the liberty to demonstrate mathematically the steps to reach that conclusion.'

Thank you, Mr. Notariis, to make those steps so clear and accessible to all.

NON SMOKERS NOT EXPOSED TO PASSIVE SMOKE

           
Risk to GET cancer 10 = 0.010 = 0.010%
   
100,000 100
           
Possibility to AVOID cancer 99,990 = 99,990 = 99.990 %
   
100,000 100

In other words, if 10 non smokers over 100,000 risk to get cancer for reasons different than passive smoke, it follows that the remaining 99,990 over 100,000 have the possibility to avoid it, which corresponds to a 99,990 percentage.

If instead non smokers expose themselves to passive smoke, the incidence of cancer passes from 10 to 13 over 100,000, with an increment of 30%.

NON SMOKERS EXPOSED TO PASSIVE SMOKE

           
Risk to GET cancer 13 = 0.013 = 0.013%
   
100,000 100
           
Possibility to AVOID cancer 99,987 = 99.987 = 99.987 %
   
100,000 100

In other words, if 13 non smokers over 100,000 risk to get cancer because of passive smoke exposure, it follows that the remaining 99,987 su 100.000 have the possibility to avoid it, which corresponds to a  99,987 percentage.


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