Is the connection between smoking and cancer a correlation or causality?

1 Answer
Feb 21, 2017

Depends on how you look at it.


If you try to prove "smoking->cancer" from the number of smokers that get cancer, that correlation is not very firm.

If you find that "90% of lung cancer patient have been smoking" you are talking about a very strong correlation. but that means turning the question around (it's called casuistic).

Even then you may have overlooked co-inciding variables like social class, age (!), etc.

Even though we all know that smoking isn't particularly healthy, I would call this a (strong) correlation with a strong hint to causality.