Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the US. About 50% of lung cancer patients are current smokers at the time of diagnosis and up to 83% continue to smoke after diagnosis. A recent study suggests that people who continue to smoke after a diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer almost double their risk of dying. Despite a growing body of evidence that continued smoking by patients after a lung cancer diagnosis is linked with less effective treatment and a poorer prognosis, the belief prevails that treating tobacco dependence is useless. With improved cancer treatments and survival rates, smoking cessation among lung cancer patients has become increasingly important. There is a pressing need to clarify the role of smoking cessation in the care of lung cancer patients.
This paper will report on the benefits of smoking cessation for lung cancer patients and the elements of smoking cessation treatment, with consideration of tailoring to the needs of lung cancer patients.
Given the significant benefits of smoking cessation and that tobacco dependence remains a challenge for many lung cancer patients, cancer care providers need to offer full support and intensive treatment with a smoking cessation program that is tailored to lung cancer patients’ specific needs.
A tobacco dependence treatment plan for lung cancer patients is provided.
Lung cancer; Tobacco dependence; Older smokers
Many cancer patients continue to smoke after diagnosis, increasing their risk for treatment complications, reduced treatment efficacy, secondary cancers, and reduced survival. Outpatient oncology providers may not be using the “teachable moment” of cancer diagnosis to provide smoking cessation assistance. Additional training and clinic-based interventions may improve adherence to tobacco cessation practice guidelines in the outpatient oncology setting.
After completing this course, the reader will be able to:
Describe current smoking cessation assessment and counseling behaviors of outpatient oncology providers.Identify key barriers to providing smoking cessation services identified by oncology providers.Describe available resources for enhancing training in smoking cessation counseling.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
Many cancer patients continue to smoke after diagnosis, increasing their risk for treatment complications, reduced treatment efficacy, secondary cancers, and reduced survival. Outpatient oncology providers may not be using the “teachable moment” of cancer diagnosis to provide smoking cessation assistance.
Providers and Methods.
Physicians and midlevel providers (n = 74) who provide outpatient oncology services completed an online survey regarding smoking cessation counseling behaviors, beliefs, and perceived barriers. Outpatient medical records for 120 breast, lung, head and neck, colon, prostate, and acute leukemia cancer patients were reviewed to assess current smoking cessation assessment and intervention documentation practices.
Providers reported commonly assessing smoking in new patients (82.4% frequently or always), but rates declined at subsequent visits for both current smokers and recent quitters. Rates of advising patients to quit smoking were also high (86.5% frequently or always), but <30% of providers reported frequently or always providing intervention to smoking patients (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy or other medications, self-help materials, and/or referrals). Only 30% of providers reported that they frequently or always followed up with patients to assess progress with quitting. Few providers (18.1%) reported high levels of confidence in their ability to counsel smoking patients. Patients' lack of motivation was identified as the most important barrier to smoking cessation.
Although beliefs about providing cessation services to smoking patients were generally positive, few providers reported commonly providing interventions beyond advice to quit. Additional training and clinic-based interventions may improve adherence to tobacco cessation practice guidelines in the outpatient oncology setting.
Smoking cessation; Clinical oncology; Health care providers; Cancer
Nicotine addiction is the most common serious medical problem in the country. Tobacco use is responsible for 30% of cancer deaths in the United States and 90% of all lung cancer deaths. The physical addiction to nicotine explains why over 30% of Americans continue to smoke or use tobacco despite their desires and efforts to quit. The testimony summarized in this paper recommends four broad strategies for preventing tobacco-caused cancers in the United States: a) mandating and reimbursing effective treatments for nicotine addiction; b) increasing Federal and state tobacco excise taxes and earmarking a fraction of tax revenues for tobacco prevention and cessation; c) enacting other policy changes to prevent tobacco use and addiction among children, including expanded clean indoor air legislation, comprehensive youth tobacco access legislation, and the regulation of tobacco products and their advertising and promotion; and d) expanding tobacco control research and critical Federal research support. Specific recommendations are given for each broad strategy.
Smoking cessation is necessary to reach a higher quality of life, and, for a cancer patient, it represents an important step in improving the outcome of both prognosis and therapy. Being a cancer patient addicted to nicotine may be a critical situation. We conducted a survey to monitor how many comprehensive cancer centres in Italy have an outpatient smoker clinic and which kinds of resources are available. We also inquired about inpatient services offering psychological and pharmacological support for smoking cessation, reduction, or care of acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms. What we have witnessed is a significant gap between guidelines and services. Oncologists and cancer nurses are overscheduled, with insufficient time to engage in discussion on a problem that they do not consider directly related to cancer treatment. Furthermore, smoking habits and limited training in tobacco dependence and treatment act as an important barrier and lead to the undervaluation of smokers' needs.
Although most smokers diagnosed with lung cancer report that they want to quit smoking, many do not succeed. Smokers who quit when lung cancer is diagnosed have improved treatment efficacy, quality of life, and survival. Effective smoking cessation interventions targeted to thoracic oncology patients are needed.
Design and Methods
This pilot study examined the feasibility and potential efficacy of a 12-week program that combined smoking cessation counseling with varenicline. 7-day point prevalence tobacco abstinence rates at the end of treatment were compared to a usual care control group. From 01/08-08/09, patients with a diagnosed or suspected thoracic malignancy were recruited at their initial visit to a thoracic surgeon or thoracic oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Of 1130 patients screened, 187 (17%) were current smokers, and an additional 66 (6%) reported quitting within the past 6 months. 116 (67%) of smokers were eligible, and 49 (42%) of eligible smokers enrolled (control group n=17, intervention group n=32). Intervention participants completed a median of 9 counseling sessions; 50% of intervention participants completed the full varenicline course. At 12-week follow-up, biochemically-validated 7-day point prevalence tobacco abstinence rates were 34.4% in the intervention group vs. 14.3% in the control group (OR = 3.14, 95% CI = .59-16.62, p = .18).
Our findings support the feasibility and acceptability of this program. At the end of treatment, quit rates were higher in the control group. Further testing is indicated to establish efficacy of this treatment package in a randomized clinical trial.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 45 million Americans continue to smoke, even after one of the most intense public health campaigns in history, now over 40 years old. Each year some 438,000 smokers die from smoking-related diseases, including lung and other cancers, cardiovascular disorders and pulmonary diseases.
Many smokers are unable – or at least unwilling – to achieve cessation through complete nicotine and tobacco abstinence; they continue smoking despite the very real and obvious adverse health consequences. Conventional smoking cessation policies and programs generally present smokers with two unpleasant alternatives: quit, or die.
A third approach to smoking cessation, tobacco harm reduction, involves the use of alternative sources of nicotine, including modern smokeless tobacco products. A substantial body of research, much of it produced over the past decade, establishes the scientific and medical foundation for tobacco harm reduction using smokeless tobacco products.
This report provides a description of traditional and modern smokeless tobacco products, and of the prevalence of their use in the United States and Sweden. It reviews the epidemiologic evidence for low health risks associated with smokeless use, both in absolute terms and in comparison to the much higher risks of smoking. The report also describes evidence that smokeless tobacco has served as an effective substitute for cigarettes among Swedish men, who consequently have among the lowest smoking-related mortality rates in the developed world. The report documents the fact that extensive misinformation about ST products is widely available from ostensibly reputable sources, including governmental health agencies and major health organizations.
The American Council on Science and Health believes that strong support of tobacco harm reduction is fully consistent with its mission to promote sound science in regulation and in public policy, and to assist consumers in distinguishing real health threats from spurious health claims. As this report documents, there is a strong scientific and medical foundation for tobacco harm reduction, and it shows great potential as a public health strategy to help millions of smokers.
Smoking is the leading modifiable risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and lung cancer. Smoking cessation is the only proven way of modifying the natural course of COPD. It is also the most effective way of reducing the risk for myocardial infarction and lung cancer. However, the full benefits of tobacco treatment may not be realized until many years of abstinence. All patients with COPD, regardless of severity, appear to benefit from tobacco treatment. Similarly, patients with recent CVD events also benefit from tobacco treatment. The risk of total mortality and rate of recurrence of lung cancer is substantially lower in smokers who manage to quit smoking following the diagnosis of early stage lung cancer or small cell lung cancer. Together, these data suggest that tobacco treatment is effective both as a primary and a secondary intervention in reducing total morbidity and mortality related to COPD, CVD, and lung cancer. In this paper, we summarize the evidence for tobacco treatment and the methods by which smoking cessation can be promoted in smokers with lung disease.
COPD; lung cancer; tobacco treatment; smoking cessation
Smoking is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Preventing and halting tobacco use are worthy strategies to improve the overall health of any population. Smoking and tobacco use begin during early adolescence, and most smokers try their first cigarette by age 12. A variety of psychosocial factors are involved in the initiation of tobacco use by adolescents. Strategies to prevent tobacco use should address these factors. Cessation efforts are hampered by nicotine addiction, which occurs in adolescents in a manner comparable to adults. Physicians and health care providers can assist adolescents in their attempts to quit tobacco use. A combination of counseling, peer and family support and, for some, nicotine replacement therapy, is the best approach to tobacco cessation. This paper reviews the findings of the major epidemiologic surveys of adolescent tobacco use and suggests strategies that health care providers can employ to reduce tobacco use among their adolescent patients.
In recent years, the decline in youth smoking rates has stopped as the tobacco industry strives to successfully reclaim market areas where it has lost favor. The plateau in lung cancer incidence and stagnation in progress toward smoking abstinence illustrates the necessity for renewed efforts to fight tobacco use. Barriers to fighting tobacco use exist in both the clinical arena and within the general population, but can be overcome. Primary care physicians (PCPs) are uniquely poised to successfully treat nicotine dependence with strategic targeting of these barriers, improved training in smoking cessation techniques, and focused political efforts in tobacco control. Herein, this article describes the landscape of tobacco use in America and provides background, methodology, and resources for PCPs to help achieve the goals of Healthy People 2010 in reducing the illness, disability, and death that occur as a result of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.
primary care; lung cancer; tobacco control; smoking cessation
Native Hawaiians have high smoking prevalence and high lung cancer mortality rates.
To describe a comprehensive tobacco cessation protocol and share lessons learned in institutionalizing it across the five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems (NHHCS).
NHHCS representatives worked together to culturally tailor the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality protocol for smoking cessation. Process objectives included number of staff trained in tobacco cessation, inclusion of the Tobacco User Guide Sheet (TUGS) in the intake process and medical record, and expansion of programs for smokers who want to quit. Outcome objectives included percent of individuals asked about smoking status and percent of identified smokers that received brief intervention, set a quit date, were linked to services, and remained smoke-free for 90 days.
After 18 months, the NHHCS were at different stages of protocol adoption. More successful NHHCS were more likely to have several champions for the program and administrative support for staff training, new programs, and integrating the TUGS into client charts. They also showed greater success in getting smokers to set a quit date and remain smoke-free for 90 days.
Although the five NHHCS helped design the protocol, each operates independently. More effort and time are needed to help each system overcome internal barriers to institutionalizing a new protocol and to facilitate support for tobacco-cessation champions among medical records and data management supervisors. These lessons may be useful to other organizations that want to institutionalize a comprehensive tobacco-cessation protocol.
Community health centers; guideline adherence; minority; nicotine; organizational change; organizational innovation; Native Hawaiian; Pacific Islander; smoking
Although it is recommended that smokers undergoing surgery for lung cancer quit smoking to reduce post-operative complications, few studies have examined patterns of smoking in the peri-operative period. The goals of this study were to determine: 1) patterns of smoking during post-operative recovery, 2) types of cessation strategies used to quit smoking, and 3) factors related to smoking after lung cancer surgery.
Data were collected from 94 patients through chart review, tobacco, health-status, and symptom questionnaires at 1, 2, and 4-months after surgery. Smoking status was assessed through self-report and urinary cotinine measurement.
Eighty-four patients (89%) were ever-smokers and 35 (37%) reported smoking at diagnosis. Thirty-nine (46%) ever-smokers remained abstinent, 13 (16%) continued smoking at all time-points, and 32 (38%) relapsed. Ten (46%) of those who relapsed were former-smokers and had not smoked for at least 1-year. Sixteen (46%) of those who were smoking at diagnosis received cessation assistance with pharmacotherapy being the most common strategy. Factors associated with smoking during recovery were younger age and quitting smoking ≤ six-months before the diagnosis of lung cancer. Factors that were marginally significant were lower educational level, male gender, lower number of comorbidities, and the presence of pain
Only half of those who were smoking received assistance to quit prior to surgery. Some patients were unable to quit and relapse rates post-surgery were high even among those who quit more than 1-year prior. Innovative programs incorporating symptom management and relapse prevention may enhance smoking abstinence during post-operative care.
lung cancer; thoracic surgery; smoking cessation; symptom management
Background. Tobacco smoking cessation interventions in the oncology population are an important part of comprehensive treatment plan. Objectives. To evaluate through a systematic review smoking cessation interventions and cessation rates in cancer patients. Search Strategy. The literature was searched using Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library (inception to November 2010) by three independent review authors. Selection Criteria. Studies were included if tobacco smoking cessation interventions were evaluated and patients were randomized to usual care or an intervention. The primary outcome measure was cessation rates. Data Collection and Analysis. Two authors extracted data independently for each paper, with disagreements resolved by consensus. Main Results. The systematic review found eight RCTs investigating smoking cessation interventions in the oncology patient population. Pooled relative risks were calculated from two groups of RCTs of smoking cessation interventions based on followup duration. In both groups, the pooled relative risk did not suggest a statistically significant improvement in tobacco cessation compared to usual care. Conclusions. Our review demonstrates that recent interventions in the last decade which are a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches yield a statistically significant improvement in smoking cessation rates compared to usual care.
Smokers with mental illness and addictive disorders account for nearly one in two cigarettes sold in the United States and are at high risk for smoking-related deaths and disability. Psychiatry residency programs provide a unique arena for disseminating tobacco treatment guidelines, influencing professional norms, and increasing access to tobacco cessation services among smokers with mental illness. The current study evaluated the Rx for Change in Psychiatry curriculum, developed for psychiatry residency programs and focused on identifying and treating tobacco dependence among individuals with mental illness.
The 4-hour curriculum emphasized evidence-based, patient-oriented cessation treatments relevant for all tobacco users, including those not yet ready to quit. The curriculum was informed by comprehensive literature review, consultation with an expert advisory group, faculty interviews, and a focus group with psychiatry residents. This study reports on evaluation of the curriculum in 2005–2006, using a quasi-experimental design, with 55 residents in three psychiatry residency training programs in Northern California.
The curriculum was associated with improvements in psychiatry residents’ knowledge, attitudes, confidence, and counseling behaviors for treating tobacco use among their patients, with initial changes from pre- to posttraining sustained at 3-months’ follow-up. Residents’ self-reported changes in treating patients’ tobacco use were substantiated through systematic chart review.
The evidence-based Rx for Change in Psychiatry curriculum is offered as a model tobacco treatment curriculum that can be implemented in psychiatry residency training programs and disseminated widely, thereby effectively reaching a vulnerable and costly population of smokers.
Smoking cessation is essential after the diagnosis of cancer to enhance clinical outcomes. Although effective smoking cessation treatments are available, less than one-half of smokers with cancer report receiving treatment. Reasons for the low dissemination in treatment are unclear.
Data were collected from questionnaires and medical record reviews from 160 smokers or recent-quitters with lung or head and neck cancer. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha coefficient and logistic regression were used in the analyses. The median age of participants was 57 years, 63% (n=101) were male, 93% (n=149) were white, and 57% (n=91) had lung cancer.
Eight-six percent (n=44) of smokers and 75% (n=82) of recent-quitters reported that health care providers gave advice to quit smoking. Sixty-five percent (n=33) of smokers and 47% (n=51) of recent-quitters reported that they were offered assistance from their health care providers to quit smoking. Fifty-one percent (n=26) of smokers and 20% (n=22) of recent-quitters expressed an interest in a smoking cessation program. An individualized smoking cessation program was the preferred type of program. Among smokers, younger, early stage patients and those with partners who were smokers were more interested in programs.
While the majority of patients received advice and were offered assistance to quit smoking, one-half of smokers were interested in cessation programs. Innovative approaches to increase interest in cessation programs need to be developed and tested in this population
cancer; smoking cessation programs; evidence-based tobacco treatment; smoking-related malignancies; patient preference
Smoking is highly intractable and the genetic influences on cessation are unclear. Identifying the genetic factors affecting smoking cessation could elucidate the nature of tobacco dependence, enhance risk assessment, and support treatment algorithm development. This study tests whether variants in the nicotinic receptor gene cluster (CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4) predict age of smoking cessation and relapse to smoking after a quit attempt.
In a community-based, cross-sectional study (N=5,216) and a randomized comparative effectiveness smoking cessation trial (N=1,073), we used survival analyses and logistic regression to model relations between smoking cessation (self-reported quit age in a community study and point-prevalence abstinence at end-of-treatment in a clinical trial) and three common haplotypes in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 region defined by rs16969968 and rs680244.
The genetic variants in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 region that predict nicotine dependence also predict a later age of smoking cessation in a community-based sample (X2=8.46, df=2, p=0.015). In the smoking cessation trial, these variants predict abstinence at end-of-treatment in individuals receiving placebo medication, but not amongst individuals receiving active medication. Genetic variants interact with treatment in affecting cessation success (X2=8.97, df=2, p=0.011).
Smokers with the high risk genetic variants have a three-fold increased likelihood of responding to pharmacologic cessation treatments, compared to smokers with the low risk genetic variants. The high-risk variants increase the risk of cessation failure, and this increased risk can be ameliorated by cessation pharmacotherapy. By identifying a high-risk genetic group with heightened response to smoking cessation pharmacotherapy, this work may support the development of personalized cessation treatments.
Despite significant declines in smoking rates in the United States, a substantial percentage of adults continue to smoke. Improved understanding of current smokers and their contact with sources of cessation support future tobacco control efforts. Recent evidence suggests that hardcore smokers, established smokers without a history of quit attempts, have less contact with cessation support. Although gender is among the major factors that influence smoking cessation, no research is available on gender differences among hardcore smokers.
Demographic, environmental, and smoking-related characteristics of female hardcore smokers and male hardcore smokers and other female smokers were examined. Data from 17,777smokers from the 2003 Current Population Survey Tobacco Use Supplement were analyzed.
Compared with female hardcore smokers, male hardcore smokers were more likely to have contact with smoking restrictions at work (OR = 1.69) and at home (OR = 1.45). Compared with female hardcore smokers, female other smokers were more likely to have seen a healthcare provider during the past year who advised them to quit smoking (OR = 1.39) and more likely to have smoking restrictions at work (OR = 1.25) and at home (OR = 2.32)). Measures of nicotine dependence suggested that female hardcore smokers were less dependent than male hardcore smokers but more dependent than other female smokers.
The sociodemographic and healthcare access variations in tobacco use identified in our analyses have significant public health implications and underscore the vital need for clinical and scientific advances in tobacco use prevention and control efforts.
Diseases associated with smoking are a foremost cause of premature death in the world, both in developed and developing countries. Eliminating smoking can do more to improve health and prolong life than any other measure in the field of preventive medicine. Today's medical students will play a prominent role in future efforts to prevent and control tobacco use.
A cross-sectional, self-administered, anonymous survey of fifth-year medical students in Berlin, Germany was conducted in November 2007. The study explored the prevalence of smoking among medical students. We assessed their current knowledge regarding tobacco dependence and the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods. Students' perceived competence to counsel smokers and promote smoking cessation treatments was also explored. Analyses were based on responses from 258 students (86.6% response rate).
One quarter of the medical students surveyed were current smokers. The smoking rate was 22.1% among women, 32.4% among men. Students underestimated smoking-related mortality and the negative effect of smoking on longevity. A considerable number of subjects erroneously assumed that nicotine causes coronary artery disease. Students' overall knowledge of the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods was inadequate. Only one third of the students indicated that they felt qualified to counsel patients about tobacco dependence.
This study reveals serious deficiencies in knowledge and counseling skills among medical students in our sample. The curriculum of every medical school should include a tobacco module. Thus, by providing comprehensive training in nicotine dependence interventions to medical students, smokers will have access to the professional expertise they need to quit smoking.
Although screening for tobacco use is increasing with electronic health records and standard protocols, other tobacco-control activities, such as referral of patients to cessation resources, is quite low. In the QUIT-PRIMO study, an online referral portal will allow providers to enter smokers' email addresses into the system. Upon returning home, the smokers will receive automated emails providing education about tobacco cessation and encouragement to use the patient smoking cessation website (with interactive tools, educational resources, motivational email messages, secure messaging with a tobacco treatment specialist, and online support group).
The informatics system will be evaluated in a comparative effectiveness trial of 160 community-based primary care practices, cluster-randomized at the practice level. In the QUIT-PRIMO intervention, patients will be provided a paper information-prescription referral and then "e-referred" to the system. In the comparison group, patients will receive only the paper-based information-prescription referral with the website address. Once patients go to the website, they are subsequently randomized within practices to either a standard patient smoking cessation website or an augmented version with access to a tobacco treatment specialist online, motivational emails, and an online support group. We will compare intervention and control practice participation (referral rates) and patient participation (proportion referred who go to the website). We will then compare the effectiveness of the standard and augmented patient websites.
Our goal is to evaluate an integrated informatics solution to increase access to web-delivered smoking cessation support. We will analyze the impact of this integrated system in terms of process (provider e-referral and patient login) and patient outcomes (six-month smoking cessation).
Web-delivered Provider Intervention for Tobacco Control (QUIT-PRIMO) - a randomized controlled trial: NCT00797628.
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the United States and worldwide. Tobacco use is the one of the primary causes of lung cancer and smoking cessation is an important step towards prevention, but patients who have quit smoking remain at risk for lung cancer. Finding pharmacologic agents to prevent lung cancer could potentially save many lives. Unfortunately, despite extensive research, there are no known effective chemoprevention agents for lung cancer. Clinical trials in the past, using agents without a clear target in an unselected population, have shown pharmacologic interventions to be ineffective or even harmful. We propose a new approach to drug development in the chemoprevention setting: reverse migration, that is, drawing on our experience in the treatment of advanced cancer to bring agents, biomarkers, and study designs into the prevention setting. By identifying molecular drivers of lung neoplasia and using matched targeted agents, we hope to personalize therapy to each individual to develop more effective, tolerable chemo-prevention. Also, advances in risk modeling, using not only clinical characteristics but also biomarkers, may help us to select patients better for chemoprevention efforts, thus sparing patients at low risk for cancer the potential toxicities of treatment. Our institution has experience with biomarker-driven clinical trials, as in the recently reported Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination (BATTLE) trial, and we now propose to bring this trial design into the prevention setting.
Chemoprevention; Lung cancer; Targeted therapies
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), usually caused by tobacco smoking, is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Smoking cessation at an early stage of the disease usually stops further progression. A study was undertaken to determine if diagnosis of airway obstruction was associated with subsequent success in smoking cessation, as advised by a physician.
4494 current smokers (57.4% men) with a history of at least 10 pack‐years of smoking were recruited from 100 000 subjects screened by spirometric testing for signs of airway obstruction. At the time of screening all received simple smoking cessation advice. 1177 (26.2%) subjects had airway obstruction and were told that they had COPD and that smoking cessation would halt rapid progression of their lung disease. No pharmacological treatment was proposed. After 1 year all subjects were invited for a follow up visit. Smoking status was assessed by history and validated by exhaled carbon monoxide level.
Nearly 70% attended a follow up visit (n = 3077): 61% were men, mean (SD) age was 52 (10) years, mean (SD) tobacco exposure 30 (17) pack‐years, and 33.3% had airway obstruction during the baseline examination. The validated smoking cessation rate in those with airway obstruction was 16.3% compared with 12.0% in those with normal spirometric parameters (p = 0.0003). After correction for age, sex, nicotine dependence, number of cigarettes smoked daily, and lung function, success in smoking cessation was predicted by lower lung function, lower nicotine dependence, and lower tobacco exposure.
Simple smoking cessation advice combined with spirometric testing resulted in good 1 year cessation rates, especially in subjects with airway obstruction.
lung function testing; counselling; smoking cessation; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Despite a significant decrease in tobacco use over the past four decades, cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Canada. Nicotine addiction, unequal access to available support programs and gaps in continuity of health care are recognized as the main barriers to smoking cessation. To overcome these obstacles and to reach the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy goal of reducing smoking prevalence in Canada from 19% to 12% by 2011, several Canadian health care organizations developed extensive sets of recommendations. Improved access to affordable pharmacotherapies and behavioural counselling, better training of health care professionals and the addition of systemic cessation measures appear to be the key components in all of the proposed recommendations.
The present article provides an overview of the current approaches to smoking cessation in Canada, describes the remaining challenges, and outlines recent recommendations that are geared toward not only tobacco control but also overall improvement in long-term health outcomes.
Nicotine addiction; Respiratory health; Smoking cessation
Despite many efforts at developing relapse prevention interventions, most smokers relapse to tobacco use within a few months after quitting. Interactive games offer a novel strategy for helping people develop the skills required for successful tobacco cessation.
The objective of our study was to develop a video game that enables smokers to practice strategies for coping with smoking urges and maintaining smoking abstinence. Our team of game designers and clinical psychologists are creating a video game that integrates the principles of smoking behavior change and relapse prevention. We have reported the results of expert and end-user feedback on an alpha version of the game.
The alpha version of the game consisted of a smoking cue scenario often encountered by smokers. We recruited 5 experts in tobacco cessation research and 20 current and former smokers, who each played through the scenario. Mixed methods were used to gather feedback on the relevance of cessation content and usability of the game modality.
End-users rated the interface from 3.0 to 4.6/5 in terms of ease of use and from 2.9 to 4.1/5 in terms of helpfulness of cessation content. Qualitative themes showed several user suggestions for improving the user interface, pacing, and diversity of the game characters. In addition, the users confirmed a high degree of game immersion, identification with the characters and situations, and appreciation for the multiple opportunities to practice coping strategies.
This study highlights the procedures for translating behavioral principles into a game dynamic and shows that our prototype has a strong potential for engaging smokers. A video game modality exemplifies problem-based learning strategies for tobacco cessation and is an innovative step in behavioral management of tobacco use.
smoking cessation; health promotion game; tobacco, quitting self efficacy; behavioral medicine; virtual reality
Smoking cessation is an important strategy for reducing the harmful effects of tobacco, particularly in the prevention of lung cancer; however, prospective data on the impact of smoking cessation on lung cancer risk in Asian populations are limited.
We studied a population-based cohort of Chinese men and women aged 45–74 years – participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Information on smoking, lifestyle and dietary habits was collected at the time of recruitment in 1993–1998; and smoking status was assessed again at a second interview in 1999–2004 (mean interval 5.8 years). Participants were followed up to 31 December 2007, and incident cases of lung cancer were ascertained by linkage with population-wide registries.
Among 45 900 participants, there were 463 incident cases of lung cancer. Relative to current smokers, those who quit smoking subsequent to baseline assessment had a 28% decrease in the risk of lung cancer (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.72; 95% CI (95% confidence interval): 0.53–0.98). The risk was less than half in ex-smokers who had quit before the first interview and maintained their status (HR 0.42; 95% CI: 0.32–0.56).
Reduction in lung cancer incidence with smoking cessation in Asian populations is substantial and can be observed within a few years after quitting.
tobacco use; cohort study; smoking; quitting; lung cancer
Quitting smoking is the most effective intervention to reduce mortality in patients with coronary artery disease who smoke. Guidelines for the treatment of tobacco dependency recommend that health care institutions develop plans to support the consistent and effective identification and treatment of tobacco users. The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (Ottawa, Ontario) has implemented an institutional program to identify and treat all smokers admitted to the Institute.
The objectives of the present paper are to describe core elements of this program and present data concerning its reach and effectiveness.
The goal of the program is to increase the number of smokers who are abstinent from smoking six months after a coronary artery disease-related hospitalization. Core elements of the program include: documentation of smoking status at hospital admission; inclusion of cessation intervention on patient care maps; individualized, bedside counselling by a nurse counsellor; the appropriate and timely use of nicotine replacement therapy; automated telephone follow-up; referral to outpatient cessation resources; and training of medical residents and nursing staff. Program reach and effectiveness were measured over a one-year period.
Between April 2003 and March 2004, almost 1300 smokers were identified at admission, and 91% received intervention to help them quit smoking. At six-month follow-up, 44% were smoke-free.
Hospitalization for coronary artery disease provides an important opportunity to intervene with smokers when their motivation to quit is high. An institutional approach reinforces the importance of smoking cessation in this patient population and increases the rate of smoking cessation. Posthospitalization quit rates should be a benchmark of cardiac program performance.
Coronary disease; Health care delivery; Prevention; Smoking
Nicotine sustains tobacco addiction, a major cause of disability and premature death. Nicotine binds to nicotinic cholinergic receptors, facilitating neurotransmitter release and thereby mediating the complex actions of nicotine in tobacco users. Dopamine, glutamate, and gamma aminobutyric acid release are particularly important in the development of nicotine dependence, and corticotropin-releasing factor appears to contribute to nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine dependence is highly heritable. Genetic studies indicate roles for nicotinic receptor subtypes, as well as genes involved in neuroplasticity and learning, in development of dependence. Nicotine is primarily metabolized byCYP2A6, and variability in rate of metabolism contributes to vulnerability to tobacco dependence, response to smoking cessation treatment, and lung cancer risk. Tobacco addiction is much more common in persons with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, representing a high proportion of current smokers. Pharmacotherapeutic approaches to tobacco addiction include nicotine replacement, bupropion, and varenicline, the latter a selective nicotine receptor partial agonist.
nicotine; addiction; smoking; pharmacogenetics; varenicline; bupropion