Smoking cessation in cancer patients: a review of the evidence
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Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology Section, Research , Prevention & Oncologic Network Institute (ISPRO), Florence, Italy
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A141
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Introduction: Smoking cessation (SC) has rarely been recommended by oncologists in Europe. Many believe it is too late to matter or perceive that patients will not be receptive to SC. Main aims of this paper are to review the evidence of health benefits from SC among cancer patients, and to identify strategies to approach SC among cancer patients, and, more in general, among people who are exposed to clinical encounters at any healthcare service.

To collect and summarize articles and reviews on health benefits of SC in cancer patients, and on strategies to approach smokers in healthcare services.

A growing body of literature has identified substantial health benefits from SC in cancer patients including improved general health, improved all-cause and cancer-specific mortality, reduced toxicity, greater response to treatment and decreased risk of disease recurrence and second primaries. In Europe, ascertainment and treatment of smokers in Oncologic Departments and in all healthcare services is not well embedded in service designs, patient pathways or disease treatment guidelines, and typically use opt-in designs. Systems in which smokers are systematically identified and offered treatment on an opt-out basis approximately doubles quit rates achieved by opt-in approaches.

By systematically offering SC in Oncologic Departments, cancer patients in Europe will achieve the best possible health benefits from their cancer treatments. Framing SC as a quality of care issue will be a critical point in order to promote SC in Oncologic Departments.

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