I realized something when I was a smoker. I had smoking friends who would joke about getting lung cancer. Seriously. It isn't just non-smokers that call cigarettes 'cancer sticks'. Smokers also do it. As well, when I recall a bunch of us outside smoking right after warning labels started appearing on labels. With a french accent, a friend read aloud the french side of the pack. "Le cigarette causent le cancer"! Everyone, except myself laughed.
It seemed to me that my group of smokers were all to happy to pretend that lung cancer was a joke.