Oncology Patient Smoking Cessation Treatment Preferences: Perceptions Across Former and Current Cigarette Smokers

Academic Article


  • Although the benefits of smoking cessation following a cancer diagnosis have been well-established, up to 50% of cancer patients continue to smoke. Continued smoking through oncology treatment leads to increased risk of adverse events including reduced effectiveness of treatment, recurrence of additional malignancies, and reduced survival rates. Upon the cancer diagnosis, oncology healthcare providers become the primary trusted source of information and support, which represents a great opportunity to assist these patients to quit smoking. However, it remains unclear how oncology healthcare providers can best address smoking cessation from a patient-centered perspective. The present study surveyed oncology patients from Birmingham, AL, classified as either former (n = 174) or current smokers (n = 81) to identify their perceptions regarding the role of oncology healthcare providers in their smoking cessation efforts. Current smokers were more likely to be younger, received their cancer diagnosis within the past 3¬†years, and have a cancer diagnosis with high smoking-related public awareness (i.e., head, neck, or lung) compared to former smokers. Additionally, 81% of current smokers reported experiencing smoking cessation discussions with their oncology healthcare providers with the most prominent recommendations being use of nicotine replacement therapies (46.9%) and medication (35.8%). These smoking cessation experiences align with patient preferences. However, despite the frequency of smoking cessation discussions, current smokers demonstrated an ambivalence in understanding the risks of continued smoking during their medical treatment. Overall, this study highlights the important role of oncology healthcare providers on implementing smoking cessation intervention for their patients who continue to smoke.
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    Author List

  • Schiavon S; Davies E; Mildrum Chana S; Scarinci IC; Merlin JS; May J; Cropsey KL