Lung cancer is one of the most important avoidable causes of death around the world, it is the most widespread carcinoma with a very poor prognosis, and is the leading cause of cancer death in both developed and developing countries. At present more men than women die each year from lung cancer, but in recent years a rapid increase in lung cancer mortality has been observed among women in developed countries, contrasting with a levelling off or decrease among men. The rising trend in female lung cancer mortality has been observed to parallel with the past and current prevalence of cigarette smoking among women in the United States and elsewhere. An important role of other factors acting either as independent risk factors or interacting with the effect of smoking has been suggested by some studies among women, among them genetic, biologic and hormonal factors, and probably some factors related to the environment and lifestyle. There is a controversy concerning the claim that women have a different susceptibility to tobacco carcinogens, which might or might not be greater than men do. Since tobacco is far and away the strongest epidemiological risk factor for the development of lung cancer, comprehensive smoking control efforts are the priority in the prevention of lung cancer among women.