Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide with more than 1.3 million people dying of the disease annually. While antitobacco initiatives in young people are important in preventing lung cancer in the long term, additional measures such as early detection and chemoprevention are needed for individuals already at risk due to past exposure to tobacco smoke. This review highlights the potential use of sputum, exhaled breath and blood biomarkers as well as thoracic CT and autofluorescence bronchoscopy for early detection. The current status of chemoprevention is summarized. The case for using a two-step screening strategy is also discussed.