As the number of cancer survivors increases, the assessment and intervention for smoking among survivors are increasingly important.
This study examined the extent to which cancer survivors reported being asked and advised about smoking by health-care providers and their use of smoking cessation treatments during quit attempts.
The data were drawn from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey, an annual health survey of US adults.
The participants were 1,825 individuals who reported being diagnosed with cancer at least 1 year previously and provided data regarding their current smoking status.
Participants completed items assessing demographics, health and health-care factors, and smoking-related variables.
More than three-quarters of participants (81.0%) reported that their smoking status was known by a health-care provider. Among current smokers (17.6%) who visited a health-care provider in the past year, 72.2% reported being advised to quit smoking by a provider. Factors associated with a higher rate of receiving advice to quit included greater cigarette consumption (P=0.008), more medical comorbidities (P=0.001), high psychological distress (P=0.003), and lack of health-care insurance (P=0.03). Among current smokers who tried to quit in the last year, 33.5% used pharmacotherapy cessation treatment and 3.8% used an evidence-based behavioral treatment.
This study reveals considerable missed opportunities for health-care providers to advise cancer survivors about smoking and provide evidence-based interventions. Systematic efforts are needed to increase the provision of smoking cessation advice and use of cessation treatments among cancer survivors.
KEY WORDS: smoking, tobacco use, counseling, smoking cessation, cancer survivors