Not sure that's really a factor, as "almost all people from the industrial facilities of the past" were heavy smokers. Remember, in the '50s, doctors used to promote certain brands of cigarettes. (Well, actors playing doctors...) And no matter where you worked it was almost impossible to avoid breathing tobacco smoke in those times....
And almost all of the people with asbestosis from the industrial facilities of the past are also heavy smokers.
I remember seeing asbestos curtains in theaters as a kid, and certainly came in contact with pipe insulation and brake linings occasionally. I also (like my parents and grandparents) was a heavy smoker. Looks like I dodged a couple bullets... (I quit smoking in 1985.)