Statistical suicide

Data: Up to 8% of people who attempt a suicide succeed (die). Up to 80% of woman who have BRCA1 mutation die of breast cancer. Conclusion: Attempting a suicide is much safer than ignoring the BRCA1 mutation.

This is just the popular Jolie case, but, of course, this does not only concern woman. For example, 25% of “heavy smokers” (5+ cigarettes per day) develop a lung cancer. Still way more than people who succeed a suicide attempt. So:
Attempting a suicide is safer than smoking.

On the other hand, probability of winning the Powerball lottery is around 0.00000005%. Yet still many smokers play.

Don’t we understand basic probability? Apparently we don’t.

We can easily picture ourselves as millionaires winning the lottery (close to impossible). We can’t picture ourselves dying of cancer (very likely if you smoke, have cancer history in the family, etc.). As there exist methods which reduce the risk, it is worth to think about it for at least a second.

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