Bladder cancer risks: Smoking is a major risk factor. Cigarette smokers develop bladder cancer 2-3 times more often than do nonsmokers. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of bladder cancer, lung cancer, several other types of cancer, and a number of other diseases as well. Workers in some occupations are at higher risk of developing bladder cancer because of exposure to carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) in the workplace. These workers include people in the rubber, chemical, and leather industries, as well as hairstylists, machinists, metal workers, printers, painters, textile workers, and truck drivers.