Issue addressed Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about lung cancer among Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic-speaking communities in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) are explored. Methods Seven focus groups were completed with a total of 51 participants (smokers and non-smokers) from three culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD). Five topics were discussed and translated summaries from focus groups were thematically analysed. Results There were variations in perceived susceptibility to lung cancer between the CALD groups and between smokers and non-smokers. Fatalistic views towards lung cancer were apparent across all three CALD communities. There were low levels of awareness of lung cancer signs and symptoms, with the exception of haemoptysis. Differences in help-seeking behaviour and levels of trust of general practitioners (GP) were apparent. Conclusion Limited awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, combined with cultural perceptions about cancer, impacted on attitudes towards help-seeking behaviour in these three CALD communities. So what? The prevalence of smoking among Chinese men, Vietnamese men and Arabic-speaking communities in NSW puts them at increased risk of lung cancer. Health promotion initiatives for lung cancer should be tailored for CALD communities and could focus on increasing knowledge of key symptoms, awareness that ex-smokers are at risk and awareness of the diagnostic pathway including the importance of avoiding delays in help-seeking.