In the medical era of early detection of diseases and tailored therapies, an accurate characterization and staging of the disease is pivotal for treatment planning. The widespread use of computed tomography (CT)-often with the use of contrast material (CM)-probably represents the most important advance in diagnostic radiology. The result is a marked increase in radiation exposure of the population for medical purposes, with its intrinsic carcinogenic potential, and CM affecting kidney function. The radiologists should aim to minimize patient's risk by reducing radiation exposure and CM amount, while maintaining the highest image quality. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to perform "patient-centric imaging". The purpose of this review is to provide radiologists with "tips and tricks" to control radiation dose at CT, summarizing technical artifices in order to reduce image noise and increase image contrast. Also chest CT tailored protocols are supplied, with particular attention to three most common thoracic CT protocols: aortic/cardiac CT angiography (CTA), pulmonary CTA, and routine chest CT.