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Smoking and Smoking Cessation

Tabacco smoke contains over 70 different carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals). Smoking is by far the most important preventable cause of cancer in the world and accounts for one in four cancer deaths in developed countries (source: Cancer Research UK). The fact that smoking increases risk of lung cancer was established in the 1950s and there is also strong evidence that it causes many other types of cancer including cancers of the mouth, liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bladder, cervix, and bowel. As well as causing cancer, smoking also increases risk of cardiovascular disease and other health conditions. The nicotine in tobacco smoke is highly addictive and therefore it is very hard to give up, once you start smoking. There is an abundance of information and advice available on ways to quit, and many countries have schemes and support to help quit.

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Information Patients and the Public (12 links)


Information for Health Professionals / Researchers (7 links)

Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Mackereth P, Finchett C, Holt M
Smoke-free hospital site conversations: how nurses can initiate change.
Br J Nurs. 2016; 25(21):1176-1180 [PubMed] Related Publications
Smoking tobacco continues to be the world's most preventable cause of death and disability with over six trillion cigarettes sold each year. Patients, visitors and health professionals who smoke on hospital sites present a challenge to the effectiveness of public health messages. Health professionals who ignore 'No smoking' hospital/clinic signage, and avoid smoking-cessation activity, help to sustain the perception that smoking is tolerated. Case studies, with a focus on lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are used to illustrate how nurses can 'seed' the idea of hospitals becoming smoke-free, provide brief interventions and support patients, carers and colleagues to make that change.

Chen LS, Baker T, Hung RJ, et al.
Genetic Risk Can Be Decreased: Quitting Smoking Decreases and Delays Lung Cancer for Smokers With High and Low CHRNA5 Risk Genotypes - A Meta-Analysis.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 11:219-226 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent meta-analyses show that individuals with high risk variants in CHRNA5 on chromosome 15q25 are likely to develop lung cancer earlier than those with low-risk genotypes. The same high-risk genetic variants also predict nicotine dependence and delayed smoking cessation. It is unclear whether smoking cessation confers the same benefits in terms of lung cancer risk reduction for those who possess CHRNA5 risk variants versus those who do not.
METHODS: Meta-analyses examined the association between smoking cessation and lung cancer risk in 15 studies of individuals with European ancestry who possessed varying rs16969968 genotypes (N=12,690 ever smokers, including 6988 cases of lung cancer and 5702 controls) in the International Lung Cancer Consortium.
RESULTS: Smoking cessation (former vs. current smokers) was associated with a lower likelihood of lung cancer (OR=0.48, 95%CI=0.30-0.75, p=0.0015). Among lung cancer patients, smoking cessation was associated with a 7-year delay in median age of lung cancer diagnosis (HR=0.68, 95%CI=0.61-0.77, p=4.9∗10(-10)). The CHRNA5 rs16969968 risk genotype (AA) was associated with increased risk and earlier diagnosis for lung cancer, but the beneficial effects of smoking cessation were very similar in those with and without the risk genotype.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that quitting smoking is highly beneficial in reducing lung cancer risks for smokers regardless of their CHRNA5 rs16969968 genetic risk status. Smokers with high-risk CHRNA5 genotypes, on average, can largely eliminate their elevated genetic risk for lung cancer by quitting smoking- cutting their risk of lung cancer in half and delaying its onset by 7years for those who develop it. These results: 1) underscore the potential value of smoking cessation for all smokers, 2) suggest that CHRNA5 rs16969968 genotype affects lung cancer diagnosis through its effects on smoking, and 3) have potential value for framing preventive interventions for those who smoke.

Ordóñez-Mena JM, Schöttker B, Mons U, et al.
Quantification of the smoking-associated cancer risk with rate advancement periods: meta-analysis of individual participant data from cohorts of the CHANCES consortium.
BMC Med. 2016; 14:62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Smoking is the most important individual risk factor for many cancer sites but its association with breast and prostate cancer is not entirely clear. Rate advancement periods (RAPs) may enhance communication of smoking related risk to the general population. Thus, we estimated RAPs for the association of smoking exposure (smoking status, time since smoking cessation, smoking intensity, and duration) with total and site-specific (lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, gastric, head and neck, and pancreatic) cancer incidence and mortality.
METHODS: This is a meta-analysis of 19 population-based prospective cohort studies with individual participant data for 897,021 European and American adults. For each cohort we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for the association of smoking exposure with cancer outcomes using Cox regression adjusted for a common set of the most important potential confounding variables. RAPs (in years) were calculated as the ratio of the logarithms of the HRs for a given smoking exposure variable and age. Meta-analyses were employed to summarize cohort-specific HRs and RAPs.
RESULTS: Overall, 140,205 subjects had a first incident cancer, and 53,164 died from cancer, during an average follow-up of 12 years. Current smoking advanced the overall risk of developing and dying from cancer by eight and ten years, respectively, compared with never smokers. The greatest advancements in cancer risk and mortality were seen for lung cancer and the least for breast cancer. Smoking cessation was statistically significantly associated with delays in the risk of cancer development and mortality compared with continued smoking.
CONCLUSIONS: This investigation shows that smoking, even among older adults, considerably advances, and cessation delays, the risk of developing and dying from cancer. These findings may be helpful in more effectively communicating the harmful effects of smoking and the beneficial effect of smoking cessation.

James SA, Meier EM, Wagener TL, et al.
E-Cigarettes for Immediate Smoking Substitution in Women Diagnosed with Cervical Dysplasia and Associated Disorders.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016; 13(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this study was to determine if 31 women with cervical dysplasia and associated conditions exacerbated by smoking would be successful substituting cigarettes with their choice of either nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or electronic cigarettes (EC). Women received motivational interviewing and tried both NRT and ECs, choosing one method to use during a six-week intervention period. Daily cigarette consumption was measured at baseline, six, and 12 weeks, with differences analyzed by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Study analysis consisted only of women choosing to use ECs (29/31), as only two chose NRT. At the 12-week follow-up, the seven day point prevalence abstinence from smoking was 28.6%, and the median number of cigarettes smoked daily decreased from 18.5 to 5.5 (p < 0.0001). The median number of e-cigarette cartridges used dropped from 21 at the six-week follow-up to 12.5 at the 12-week follow-up. After initiating EC use, women at risk for cervical cancer were able to either quit smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Although a controlled trial with a larger sample size is needed to confirm these initial results, this study suggests that using ECs during quit attempts may reduce cigarette consumption.

Tramontano AC, Sheehan DF, McMahon PM, et al.
Evaluating the impacts of screening and smoking cessation programmes on lung cancer in a high-burden region of the USA: a simulation modelling study.
BMJ Open. 2016; 6(2):e010227 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: While the US Preventive Services Task Force has issued recommendations for lung cancer screening, its effectiveness at reducing lung cancer burden may vary at local levels due to regional variations in smoking behaviour. Our objective was to use an existing model to determine the impacts of lung cancer screening alone or in addition to increased smoking cessation in a US region with a relatively high smoking prevalence and lung cancer incidence.
SETTING: Computer-based simulation model.
PARTICIPANTS: Simulated population of individuals 55 and older based on smoking prevalence and census data from Northeast Pennsylvania.
INTERVENTIONS: Hypothetical lung cancer control from 2014 to 2050 through (1) screening with CT, (2) intensified smoking cessation or (3) a combination strategy.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were lung cancer mortality rates. Secondary outcomes included number of people eligible for screening and number of radiation-induced lung cancers.
RESULTS: Combining lung cancer screening with increased smoking cessation would yield an estimated 8.1% reduction in cumulative lung cancer mortality by 2050. Our model estimated that the number of screening-eligible individuals would progressively decrease over time, indicating declining benefit of a screening-only programme. Lung cancer screening achieved a greater mortality reduction in earlier years, but was later surpassed by smoking cessation.
CONCLUSIONS: Combining smoking cessation programmes with lung cancer screening would provide the most benefit to a population, especially considering the growing proportion of patients ineligible for screening based on current recommendations.

Brath H, Grabovac I, Schalk H, et al.
Prevalence and Correlates of Smoking and Readiness to Quit Smoking in People Living with HIV in Austria and Germany.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0150553 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We aimed to investigate the prevalence and correlates of smoking in people living with HIV (PLWHIV) in Germany and Austria and their readiness to quit. A total of 447 consecutive patients with confirmed positive HIV status who were treated in different outpatient HIV centres in Austria and Germany were included. Nicotine dependence and stages of change were assessed by standardized questionnaires, and this was confirmed by measuring exhaled carbon monoxide. Prevalence of smoking was 49.4%. According to a multivariate logistic regression analysis, higher age (for each year of life OR = 0.96; 95% CI 0.92-1.00) and tertiary education level (OR = 0.43; 95% CI 0.15-0.79) were associated with a lower chance, and occasional (OR = 3.75; 95% CI 1.74-8.07) and daily smoking of the partner (OR 8.78; 95% CI 4.49-17.17) were significantly associated with a higher chance of smoking. Moderate (OR = 3.41; 95% CI = 1.30-9.05) and higher nicotine dependency level (OR = 3.40; 95% CI 1.46-7.94), were significantly associated with higher chance, and older age (for each year of life OR = 0.95; 95% CI = 0.91-0.99), with lower chance for readiness to quit smoking. Those results may be used to address preventive measures to quit smoking aimed at PLWHIV and the importance of addressing smoking habits.

Fucito LM, Czabafy S, Hendricks PS, et al.
Pairing smoking-cessation services with lung cancer screening: A clinical guideline from the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
Cancer. 2016; 122(8):1150-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/04/2017 Related Publications
Smoking cessation is crucial for reducing cancer risk and premature mortality. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended annual lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently approved lung screening as a benefit for patients ages 55 to 77 years who have a 30 pack-year history. The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) and the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD) developed the guideline described in this commentary based on an illustrative literature review to present the evidence for smoking-cessation health benefits in this high-risk group and to provide clinical recommendations for integrating evidence-based smoking-cessation treatment with lung cancer screening. Unfortunately, extant data on lung cancer screening participants were scarce at the time this guideline was written. However, in this review, the authors summarize the sufficient evidence on the benefits of smoking cessation and the efficacy of smoking-cessation interventions for smokers ages 55 to 77 years to provide smoking-cessation interventions for smokers who seek lung cancer screening. It is concluded that smokers who present for lung cancer screening should be encouraged to quit smoking at each visit. Access to evidence-based smoking-cessation interventions should be provided to all smokers regardless of scan results, and motivation to quit should not be a necessary precondition for treatment. Follow-up contacts to support smoking-cessation efforts should be arranged for smokers. Evidence-based behavioral strategies should be used at each visit to motivate smokers who are unwilling to try quitting/reducing smoking or to try evidence-based treatments that may lead to eventual cessation.

Cadier B, Durand-Zaleski I, Thomas D, Chevreul K
Cost Effectiveness of Free Access to Smoking Cessation Treatment in France Considering the Economic Burden of Smoking-Related Diseases.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0148750 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/04/2017 Related Publications
CONTEXT: In France more than 70,000 deaths from diseases related to smoking are recorded each year, and since 2005 prevalence of tobacco has increased. Providing free access to smoking cessation treatment would reduce this burden. The aim of our study was to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) of providing free access to cessation treatment taking into account the cost offsets associated with the reduction of the three main diseases related to smoking: lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). To measure the financial impact of such a measure we also conducted a probabilistic budget impact analysis.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis using a Markov state-transition model that compared free access to cessation treatment to the existing coverage of €50 provided by the French statutory health insurance, taking into account the cost offsets among current French smokers aged 15-75 years. Our results were expressed by the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio in 2009 Euros per life year gained (LYG) at the lifetime horizon. We estimated a base case scenario and carried out a Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis to account for uncertainty. Assuming a participation rate of 7.3%, the ICER value for free access to cessation treatment was €3,868 per LYG in the base case. The variation of parameters provided a range of ICER values from -€736 to €15,715 per LYG. In 99% of cases, the ICER for full coverage was lower than €11,187 per LYG. The probabilistic budget impact analysis showed that the potential cost saving for lung cancer, COPD and CVD ranges from €15 million to €215 million at the five-year horizon for an initial cessation treatment cost of €125 million to €421 million.
CONCLUSION: The results suggest that providing medical support to smokers in their attempts to quit is very cost-effective and may even result in cost savings.

Ramaswamy AT, Toll BA, Chagpar AB, Judson BL
Smoking, cessation, and cessation counseling in patients with cancer: A population-based analysis.
Cancer. 2016; 122(8):1247-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Smoking is known to be carcinogenic and an important factor in the outcome of cancer treatment. However, to the authors' knowledge, smoking habits and smoking cessation counseling in patients with cancer have been poorly studied. The authors sought to analyze smoking habits among Americans diagnosed with cancer in a nationally representative dataset.
METHODS: The cancer supplement of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in 2010 was used to obtain information regarding self-reported smoking behavior in a representative sample of the US population. Cancer history, smoking history, quitting behavior, cessation counseling, cessation approaches, and sociodemographic variables were analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 27,157 individuals were interviewed for the NHIS in 2010, representing 216,052,891 individuals, 7,058,135 of whom had ever smoked and 13,188,875 of whom had been told that they had cancer. Approximately 51.7% of individuals diagnosed with cancer and who were active smokers reported being counseled to quit smoking by a health professional within the previous 12 months. Cancer survivors were no more likely to quit smoking than individuals in the general population. Those diagnosed with a tobacco-related cancer were found to be no more likely to report quitting smoking than those with other types of cancers. Rates of quitting did not appear to vary based on the type of smoking cessation method used (P = .50).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with cancer, including those diagnosed with a tobacco-related cancer, do not appear to be more likely to quit smoking than the general population. Only approximately one-half of patients with cancer who smoke are counseled to quit. Smoking cessation in patients with cancer is an important area for intervention and investigation.

Ghosh A, Philiponis G, Bewley A, et al.
You can't pay me to quit: the failure of financial incentives for smoking cessation in head and neck cancer patients.
J Laryngol Otol. 2016; 130(3):278-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: A prospective randomised study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital to evaluate the effects of financial incentives for smoking cessation targeted at a high-risk population.
METHODS: Patients with a past history of head and neck cancer were voluntarily enrolled over a two-year period. They were randomised to a cash incentives or no incentive group. Subjects were offered enrolment in smoking cessation courses. Smoking by-product levels were assessed at 30 days, 3 months and 6 months. Subjects in the incentive group received $150 if smoking cessation was confirmed.
RESULTS: Over 2 years, 114 patients with an established diagnosis of head and neck cancer were offered enrolment. Twenty-four enrolled and 14 attended the smoking cessation classes. Only two successfully quit smoking at six months. Both these patients were in the financially incentivised group and received $150 at each test visit.
CONCLUSION: Providing a financial incentive for smoking cessation to a population already carrying a diagnosis of head and neck cancer in order to promote a positive behaviour change was unsuccessful.

Bade M, Bähr V, Brandt U, et al.
Effect of smoking cessation counseling within a randomised study on early detection of lung cancer in Germany.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(5):959-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: In the German lung cancer screening trial LUSI, smoking cessation counseling (SCC) was offered to all participants at time of randomization, and smoking habits were asked for within annual questionnaire inquiries. We analyzed the smoking habits of the participants within the first 2 years of follow-up and especially the potential effect of the SCC on these habits.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used the smoking data of the initial inquiry on which the decision on invitation to the study was based, the socio-economic data of the questionnaire filled-in at time of randomization, the psycho-social data obtained during the SCC, and the annual questionnaire data of the first two annual follow-up screening rounds.
RESULTS: Smoking prevalence decreased in the entire cohort significantly by 4 %, whereby the decrease was with 4.5 % statistically not significantly higher in the control arm than in the screening arm with 3.4 %. The decline was much stronger in the subgroup of attendees to stop-smoking counseling and mounted up therein to 10 %. In some participants, an increase of readiness to quit smoking was observed during the counseling hour, but did not show effects on smoking status 2 years later.
DISCUSSION: We did not see a tendency to increased smoking among participants of the intervention arm or the entire study. The decline of smoking prevalence among the attendees of the counseling might be due to self-selection. Since the issue of effectiveness of smoking cessation counseling is important, further research with randomization into offering counseling or no intervention should be taken into consideration.

Kumar P, Gareen IF, Lathan C, et al.
Racial Differences in Tobacco Cessation and Treatment Usage After Lung Screening: An Examination of the National Lung Screening Trial.
Oncologist. 2016; 21(1):40-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Black smokers have demonstrated greater lung cancer disease burden and poorer smoking cessation outcomes compared with whites. Lung cancer screening represents a unique opportunity to promote cessation among smokers; however, little is known about the differential impact of screening on smoking behaviors among black and white smokers. Using data from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), we examined the racial differences in smoking behaviors after screening.
METHODS: We examined racial differences in smoking behavior and cessation activity among 6,316 white and 497 black (median age, 60 and 59 years, respectively) NLST participants who were current smokers at screening using a follow-up survey on 24-hour and 7-day quit attempts, 6-month continuous abstinence, and the use of smoking cessation programs and aids at 12 months after screening. Using multiple regression analyses, we examined the predictors of 24-hour and 7-day quit attempts and 6-month continuous abstinence.
RESULTS: At 12 months after screening, blacks were more likely to report a 24-hour (52.7% vs. 41.2%, p < .0001) or 7-day (33.6% vs. 27.2%, p = .002) quit attempt. However, no significant racial differences were found in 6-month continuous abstinence (5.6% blacks vs. 7.2% whites). In multiple regression, black race was predictive of a higher likelihood of a 24-hour (odds ratio [OR], 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.0) and 7-day (OR, 1.5, 95% CI, 1.1-1.8) quit attempt; however, race was not associated with 6-month continuous abstinence. Only a positive screening result for lung cancer was significantly predictive of successful 6-month continuous abstinence (OR, 2.3, 95% CI, 1.8-2.9).
CONCLUSION: Although blacks were more likely than whites to have 24-hour and 7-day quit attempts, the rates of 6-month continuous abstinence did not differ. Targeted interventions are needed at the time of lung cancer screening to promote abstinence among all smokers.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Among smokers undergoing screening for lung cancer, blacks were more likely than whites to have 24-hour and 7-day quit attempts; however, these attempts did not translate to increased rates of 6-month continuous abstinence among black smokers. Targeted interventions are needed at the time of lung cancer screening to convert quit attempts to sustained smoking cessation among all smokers.

Ogihara K, Kikuchi E, Yuge K, et al.
Refraining from Smoking for 15 Years or More Reduced the Risk of Tumor Recurrence in Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Patients.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2016; 23(5):1752-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We investigated whether smoking cessation could have preventative effects against tumor recurrence in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).
METHODS: Our study population comprised 634 patients with initially diagnosed NMIBC at Keio University Hospital, Saiseikai Central Hospital, and Saitama Medical University Hospital between 1995 and 2012. We analyzed the relationships between tumor recurrence in NMIBC and patient clinicopathological parameters, including smoking status.
RESULTS: Overall, 181 patients (28.5 %) were classified as current smokers, 154 (24.3 %) as former smokers, and 299 (47.2 %) as non-smokers. Kaplan-Meier curve analysis revealed that the tumor recurrence rate was significantly lower in the non-smoker group than in the current- and former-smoker groups (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). In the 154 former smokers, Kaplan-Meier curve analysis revealed that smoking intensity and duration was not associated with tumor recurrence rate; however, patients with a smoking cessation period of 15 years or more had a significantly lower tumor recurrence rate than their counterparts (p < 0.001). A multivariate analysis identified a smoking cessation period of <15 years (hazard ratio [HR] 2.20; p = 0.003) and T1 tumors (HR 1.99; p = 0.013) as independent risk factors for tumor recurrence in the former-smokers subgroup.
CONCLUSIONS: A positive smoking history was identified as one of the independent risk factors for bladder tumor recurrence after transurethral resection of the bladder tumor. Furthermore, refraining from smoking for 15 years or more reduced the risk of tumor recurrence in former smokers with NMIBC regardless of the intensity or duration of smoking. Therefore, smoking cessation may reduce the risk of tumor recurrence in patients with NMIBC.

Zeng L, Yu X, Yu T, et al.
Interventions for smoking cessation in people diagnosed with lung cancer.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; (12):CD011751 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of death from cancer worldwide. Smoking induces and aggravates many health problems, including vascular diseases, respiratory illnesses and cancers. Tobacco smoking constitutes the most important risk factor for lung cancer. Most people with lung cancer are still active smokers at diagnosis or frequently relapse after smoking cessation. Quitting smoking is the most effective way for smokers to reduce the risk of premature death and disability. People with lung cancer may benefit from stopping smoking. Whether smoking cessation interventions are effective for people with lung cancer and whether one method of quitting is more effective than any other has not been systematically reviewed.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effectiveness of smoking cessation programmes for people with lung cancer.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE (accessed via PubMed) and EMBASE up to 22 June 2015. We also searched the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting proceedings, the lung cancer sections of the proceedings of the ESMO Congress, the lung cancer sections of the proceedings of the European Conference of Clinical Oncology (ECCO) Congress, the World Conference on Lung Cancer proceedings, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting from 2013, the Food and Drug Administration website, the European Medicine Agency for drug registration website, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) search portal, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) to 1 July 2015. We applied no restriction on language of publication.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We planned to include any randomised controlled trial (RCT) of any psychosocial or pharmacological smoking cessation intervention or combinations of both, compared with no intervention, a different psychosocial or pharmacological (or both) intervention or placebo for pharmacological interventions in people with lung cancer.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened the studies from the initial search for potential trials for inclusion. We planned to use standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. We found no trials that met the inclusion criteria.
MAIN RESULTS: We identified no RCTs that met our inclusion criteria. Among the 1052 records retrieved using our search strategy, we retrieved 13 studies for further investigation. We excluded 10 trials: five trials because we could not distinguish people with lung cancer from the other participants, or the participants were not people with lung cancer, four because they were not randomised, or RCTs. We excluded one trial because, though it was completed in 2004, no results are available. We assessed three ongoing trials for inclusion when data become available.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There were no RCTs that determined the effectiveness of any type of smoking cessation programme for people with lung cancer. There was insufficient evidence to determine whether smoking cessation interventions are effective for people with lung cancer and whether one programme is more effective than any other. People with lung cancer should be encouraged to quit smoking and offered smoking cessation interventions. However, due to the lack of RCTs, the efficacy of smoking cessation interventions for people with lung cancer cannot be evaluated and concluded. This systematic review identified a need for RCTs to explore these.

Bogdanovica I, Agrawal S, Gregory B, et al.
What is the quality of smoking cessation advice in guidelines of tobacco-related diseases?
Clin Med (Lond). 2015; 15(6):546-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Smoking is a major risk factor for a range of diseases, and quitting smoking provides considerable benefits to health. It therefore follows that clinical guidelines on disease management, particularly for diseases caused by smoking, should include smoking cessation. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which this is the case. We conducted a systematic review investigating clinical guidelines and recommendations issued by UK national or European transnational medical speciality associations and societies issued between 2000 and 2012 on a range of diseases caused by smoking. We then investigated whether selected guidelines contained reference to smoking cessation and smoking cessation advice. Although the extent to which smoking and smoking cessation was mentioned in the guidelines varied between diseases, only 60% of guidelines identified recognised that smoking is a risk factor for the development of the disease and 40% recommended smoking cessation. Only 19% of guidelines provided detailed information on how to deliver smoking cessation support. Smoking cessation is not comprehensively addressed in current UK and transnational European clinical practice guidelines and recommendations.

Hagerman CJ, Tomko CA, Stanton CA, et al.
Incorporating a Smoking Cessation Intervention into Lung Cancer Screening Programs: Preliminary Studies.
J Psychosoc Oncol. 2015; 33(6):703-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Two preliminary studies assessed whether telephone counseling (TC) is a feasible smoking cessation intervention following lung cancer screening. Seven older smokers undergoing lung cancer screening (pack years = 61.5) completed three TC sessions, which incorporated the screening result as motivation to quit. Participation (87.5%) and retention (85.7%) rates were good, and four smokers quit smoking (three of whom received abnormal results). We conducted four focus groups with 16 current and former older smokers (pack years = 55). Most believed that an abnormal scan would motivate them to quit and expressed interest in TC. TC may be feasible and potentially efficacious within lung screening programs.

Roach MC, Rehman S, DeWees TA, et al.
It's never too late: Smoking cessation after stereotactic body radiation therapy for non-small cell lung carcinoma improves overall survival.
Pract Radiat Oncol. 2016 Jan-Feb; 6(1):12-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: As stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) has emerged as a quick, effective, and well-tolerated treatment for early stage non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), it can be difficult to convince patients to quit smoking in follow-up. We evaluated whether there was a survival benefit to smoking cessation after SBRT.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with early-stage NSCLC treated from 2004 to 2013 who were still smoking tobacco at the time of SBRT were identified from a prospective institutional review board-approved registry. Peripheral tumors were treated to 54 Gy in 3 fractions and central tumors to 50 Gy in 5 fractions. Patients were reviewed for overall survival (OS) and disease progression. The log-rank and Cox regression tests were used to identify factors predictive of OS.
RESULTS: Thirty-two patients (27%) quit smoking after SBRT, and 87 (73%) continued smoking. Median follow-up was 22 months (range, 2-87). On multivariate analysis, smoking status (hazard ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-4.2; P = .045), increasing age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity score and larger tumor size were predictive of worse OS. The prior number of cigarette pack-years was not significant (P = .62). In a Kaplan-Meier comparison, smoking cessation after SBRT was associated with improved 2-year OS, 78% versus 69% (P = .014). There was no significant difference in 2-year progression-free survival (75% vs 55%, P = .23) or local control (97% vs 88%, P = .63).
CONCLUSION: OS is significantly improved in patients who stop smoking after SBRT for early-stage NSCLC, no matter their previous smoking history. Encouraging smoking cessation should be an important part of every posttreatment visit.

McQueen N, Partington EJ, Harrington KF, et al.
Smoking Cessation and Electronic Cigarette Use among Head and Neck Cancer Patients.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016; 154(1):73-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: (1) Investigate electronic cigarette (e-cig) use among head and neck (HN) cancer patients; (2) define quit methods, success, motivations, and barriers to smoking cessation; and (3) determine the impact of e-cig use in smoking cessation.
STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Tertiary care center.
METHODS: An in-office survey was administered to HN cancer patients ≥ 19 years of age with past/present tobacco use. Patient demographics were collected. Quit methods, success, and motivations/barriers were surveyed. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test was used to correlate alcohol use and cessation. Independent variables associated with cessation were studied with Fisher's exact test and Student's t test. Subgroup analysis was performed for e-cig users.
RESULTS: Of 110 eligible patients, 106 (96%) enrolled (83% male, 82% Caucasian), of whom 69 (65%) successfully quit. Age of first tobacco use did not differ between the smoking and cessation groups (P = .14), nor did hazardous drinking (30% smoking vs 14% cessation; P = .072). "Cold turkey" (ie, stopping abruptly without smoking cessation aids) was the most common method attempted (n = 88, 83%) and most successful (n = 65, 94%). There was no statistical difference in age, sex, race, drinking, or socioeconomic status between e-cig users and nonusers. Nonusers achieved higher quit rates as compared with e-cig users (72% vs 39%; P = .0057). E-cig use did not decrease the number of cigarettes smoked (463 cigarettes/month) versus that of nonusers (341 cigarettes/month; P = .2). Seventy percent of e-cig users wore a nicotine patch.
CONCLUSIONS: HN cancer patients desire smoking cessation. E-cig did not decrease tobacco use, and patients who utilize e-cigs are less likely to achieve smoking cessation.

Tanner NT, Kanodra NM, Gebregziabher M, et al.
The Association between Smoking Abstinence and Mortality in the National Lung Screening Trial.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016; 193(5):534-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
RATIONALE: Smoking is the largest contributor to lung cancer risk, and those who continue to smoke after diagnosis have a worse survival. Screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) reduces mortality in high-risk individuals. Smoking cessation is an essential component of a high-quality screening program.
OBJECTIVES: To quantify the effects of smoking history and abstinence on mortality in high-risk individuals who participated in the NLST (National Lung Screening Trial).
METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial (NLST).
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Measurements included self-reported demographics, medical and smoking history, and lung cancer-specific and all-cause mortality. Cox regression was used to study the association of mortality with smoking status and pack-years. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were examined for differences in survival based on trial arm and smoking status. Current smokers had an increased lung cancer-specific (hazard ratio [HR], 2.14-2.29) and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.79-1.85) compared with former smokers irrespective of screening arm. Former smokers in the control arm abstinent for 7 years had a 20% mortality reduction comparable with the benefit reported with LDCT screening in the NLST. The maximum benefit was seen with the combination of smoking abstinence at 15 years and LDCT screening, which resulted in a 38% reduction in lung cancer-specific mortality (HR, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.51-0.76).
CONCLUSIONS: Seven years of smoking abstinence reduced lung cancer-specific mortality at a magnitude comparable with LDCT screening. This reduction was greater when abstinence was combined with screening, highlighting the importance of smoking cessation efforts in screening programs.

Hatsukami DK, Vogel RI, Severson HH, et al.
Perceived Health Risks of Snus and Medicinal Nicotine Products.
Nicotine Tob Res. 2016; 18(5):794-800 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Perceived health risk (PHR) of a tobacco product may influence both uptake and continued use. In this study, we examined PHRs of snus and medicinal nicotine using the PHR scale and the relationship of PHR responses to use of these products in smokers seeking an alternative to smoking.
METHODS: Smokers were randomly assigned to snus or to medicinal nicotine for a period of 12 weeks and asked to only use the assigned product. The PHR scale involves rating the extent of perceived risk of a product for different diseases and was given at baseline and weeks 4 and 12 during treatment. Relationships between PHR scale scores and study attrition, compliance with only using the product, and continued use of the product after treatment were determined.
RESULTS: Response to the PHR scale showed no significant differences between the snus and medicinal nicotine for perceived risks for lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis. However, significant differences were observed for other cancers, heart disease, stroke and risk for addiction, particularly after product use, with higher scores among those assigned to snus. Scores on the PHR scale were not related to any of the trial outcome variables.
CONCLUSIONS: Among smokers seeking an alternative to smoking in a clinic setting, PHR of a product changes after product use but may not be related to product use patterns.
IMPLICATIONS: PHRs of snus or medicinal nicotine in smokers assigned to these products become more accurate after product use. PHR does not appear to be associated with patterns of product use; rather satisfaction with a product is a better indicator as to whether a smoker is compliant with only using the product or continues to use the product.

Danson SJ, Rowland C, Rowe R, et al.
The relationship between smoking and quality of life in advanced lung cancer patients: a prospective longitudinal study.
Support Care Cancer. 2016; 24(4):1507-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer, and continued smoking may compromise treatment efficacy and quality of life (health-related quality of life (HRQoL)) in patients with advanced lung cancer. Our aims were to determine (i) preference for treatments which promote quality over length of life depending on smoking status, (ii) the relationship between HRQoL and smoking status at diagnosis (T1), after controlling for demographic and clinical variables, and (iii) changes in HRQoL 6 months after diagnosis (T2) depending on smoking status.
METHODS: Two hundred ninety-six patients with advanced lung cancer were given questionnaires to assess HRQoL (EORTC QLQ-C30), time-trade-off for life quality versus quantity (QQQ) and smoking history (current, former or never smoker) at diagnosis (T1) and 6 months later (T2). Medical data were extracted from case records.
RESULTS: Questionnaires were returned by 202 (68.2 %) patients at T1 and 114 (53.3 %) at T2. Patients favoured treatments that would enhance quality of life over increased longevity. Those who continued smoking after diagnosis reported worse HRQoL than former smokers or those who never smoked. Smoking status was a significant independent predictor of coughing in T1 (worse in smokers) and cognitive functioning in T2 (better in never smokers).
CONCLUSIONS: Smoking by patients with advanced lung cancer is associated with worse symptoms on diagnosis and poorer HRQoL for those who continue smoking. The results have implications to help staff explain the consequences of smoking to patients.

McDonnell KK, Hollen PJ, Heath J, Andrews JO
Recruiting family dyads facing thoracic cancer surgery: Challenges and lessons learned from a smoking cessation intervention.
Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2016; 20:199-206 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Persistent smoking after a cancer diagnosis has adverse effects. Most smoking cessation interventions focus on individual behaviors; however, family members who smoke are major barriers to success. This article describes challenges and lessons learned related to recruitment and retention to a longitudinal, dyadic-centered smoking cessation intervention study for individuals confronting a new diagnosis of thoracic cancer and their family members who smoke.
METHODS: A prospective, one-group repeated measures, mixed-method feasibility study measured recruitment, retention, adherence, and acceptability over a 6-month period in a thoracic surgery clinic at a university cancer center. A multidisciplinary, multi-component decision aid-"Tobacco Free Family"-was used to intervene with the dyads. Study recruitment occurred preoperatively with a thoracic surgery team member assessing smoking status.
RESULTS: During the 6-month recruitment period, 50 patients who smoked were screened, and 18 eligible families were approached to participate. Sixteen participants (8 dyads) enrolled. Patients were all male, and participating family members were all female-either spouses or long-term girlfriends. Others types of family members declined participation.
CONCLUSION: Recruitment was lower than anticipated (44%), retention was high (100%), and maximizing convenience was the most important retention strategy. Oncology nurses can assess the smoking status of patients and family members, facilitate understanding about the benefits of cessation, refer those willing to stop to expert resources, and help motivate those unwilling to quit. Research is needed to continue developing strategies to help patients with thoracic cancer and their families facing surgery as an impetus for stopping smoking. Novel intervention delivery and communication need further exploration.

Wipfli HL, Samet J
Framing Progress In Global Tobacco Control To Inform Action On Noncommunicable Diseases.
Health Aff (Millwood). 2015; 34(9):1480-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Much has been learned about the tobacco epidemic, including its consequences, effective measures to control it, and the actors involved. This article identifies lessons learned that are applicable to the other principal external causes of noncommunicable diseases: alcohol abuse, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. Among these lessons are the development of evidence-based strategies such as proven cessation methods, tax increases, and smoke-free policies; the role of multinational corporations in maintaining markets and undermining control measures; and the need for strategies that reach across the life course and that begin with individuals and extend to higher levels of societal organization. Differences are also clear. Tobacco products are relatively homogeneous and have no direct benefit to consumers, whereas food and alcohol consumed in moderation are not inherently dangerous. Some tobacco-related diseases have the singular predominant cause of smoking, while many noncommunicable diseases have multiple interlocking causes such as poor diet, excess alcohol consumption, insufficient physical activity, and smoking, along with genetics. Thus, the tobacco control model of comprehensive multilevel strategies is applicable to the control of noncommunicable diseases, but the focus must be on multiple risk factors.

Ostroff JS, Copeland A, Borderud SP, et al.
Readiness of Lung Cancer Screening Sites to Deliver Smoking Cessation Treatment: Current Practices, Organizational Priority, and Perceived Barriers.
Nicotine Tob Res. 2016; 18(5):1067-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer screening represents an opportunity to deliver smoking cessation advice and assistance to current smokers. However, the current tobacco treatment practices of lung cancer screening sites are unknown. The purpose of this study was to describe organizational priority, current practice patterns, and barriers for delivery of evidence-based tobacco use treatment across lung cancer screening sites within the United States.
METHODS: Guided by prior work examining readiness of health care providers to deliver tobacco use treatment, we administered a brief online survey to a purposive national sample of site coordinators from 93 lung cancer screening sites.
RESULTS: Organizational priority for promoting smoking cessation among lung cancer screening enrollees was high. Most sites reported that, at the initial visit, patients are routinely asked about their current smoking status (98.9%) and current smokers are advised to quit (91.4%). Fewer (57%) sites provide cessation counseling or refer smokers to a quitline (60.2%) and even fewer (36.6%) routinely recommend cessation medications. During follow-up screening visits, respondents reported less attention to smoking cessation advice and treatment. Lack of patient motivation and resistance to cessation advice and treatment, lack of staff training, and lack of reimbursement were the most frequently cited barriers for delivering smoking cessation treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Although encouraging that lung cancer screening sites endorsed the importance of smoking cessation interventions, greater attention to identifying and addressing barriers for tobacco treatment delivery is needed in order to maximize the potential benefit of integrating smoking cessation into lung cancer screening protocols.
IMPLICATIONS: This study is the first to describe practice patterns, organizational priority, and barriers for delivery of smoking cessation treatment in a national sample of lung cancer screening sites.

Ma L, Donohue C, DeNofrio T, et al.
Optimizing Tobacco Cessation Resource Awareness Among Patients and Providers.
J Oncol Pract. 2016; 12(1):e77-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Despite receiving a cancer diagnosis, many patients continue to use tobacco during treatment, negatively affecting their outcomes. We hypothesized that limited tobacco cessation (TC) discussion among patients and providers was partially the result of providers' lack of awareness of current TC resources available.
METHODS: We surveyed the head and neck oncology providers (HNOPs) at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to evaluate their awareness of existing TC resources within the community and performed a 6-month medical record review of active tobacco users (ATUs) to evaluate the frequency of documented TC discussions in clinic. We educated the HNOPs about available TC resources, developed a TC resource teaching sheet, placed a provider alert page in examination rooms as a reminder of TC discussions, and built a TC discussion template to ease documentation. Four weeks postintervention, we resurveyed providers and again performed medical record reviews of ATUs.
RESULTS: Preintervention, 13% of HNOPs were aware of TC resources available, and TC discussion documentation was 28%. Postintervention, 100% of HNOPs became aware of the TC resources available, and documentations increased to 56% at 5 months. Identification of ATUs increased from six to 13 per month to 17 to 33 per month post intervention. Eighty-eight percent of HNOPs felt the intervention prompted TC discussions in clinic with their ATUs.
CONCLUSION: The limited number of TC discussions among patients and providers was at least partially the result of unawareness of TC resources available within the community. Educating HNOPs and alerting them to ATUs at their clinic visits successfully prompted TC discussions in clinic.

Yoshida N, Baba Y, Hiyoshi Y, et al.
Duration of Smoking Cessation and Postoperative Morbidity After Esophagectomy for Esophageal Cancer: How Long Should Patients Stop Smoking Before Surgery?
World J Surg. 2016; 40(1):142-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Smoking is one of the risk factors for postoperative morbidity. There were no studies on the correlation between the duration of smoking cessation and the incidence of morbidities after esophagectomy.
METHODS: A total of 246 patients undergoing elective esophagectomy with 2- or 3-field lymphadenectomy for esophageal cancer between April 2005 and February 2015 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into five groups according to the duration of smoking cessation [no smoking cessation (including cessation for a few days), cessation for 7-30, 31-90, ≥91 days, never smoker].
RESULTS: Any morbidity of Clavien-Dindo classification (CDc) ≥II, pneumonia, any pulmonary morbidity, surgical site infection, cardiovascular morbidity, and severe morbidities of CDc ≥IIIb frequently occurred in patients with no smoking cessation. The incidence of pneumonia and severe morbidities decreased as the duration of smoking cessation became longer. Logistic regression analysis suggested that no smoking cessation was the independent risk factor for any pulmonary morbidity (HR 3.68, 95% CI 1.152-11.74; p = 0.028). Smoking cessation ≤30 days was also the independent risk factor for pneumonia (HR 2.89, 95% CI 1.141-7.301; p = 0.025). Smoking cessation ≤90 days was the independent risk factor for severe morbidities of CDc ≥IIIb (HR 2.82, 95% CI 1.072-7.427; p = 0.036).
CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative smoking cessation more than 90 days is ideal to reduce morbidities after esophagectomy. When patients with insufficient smoking cessation undergo esophagectomy, careful perioperative management is required.

Warren GW, Dibaj S, Hutson A, et al.
Identifying Targeted Strategies to Improve Smoking Cessation Support for Cancer Patients.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(11):1532-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Although smoking causes adverse outcomes in cancer patients, most oncology providers do not regularly provide smoking cessation support. The purpose of this study was to identify key areas that can be targeted to improve delivery of evidence-based cessation support for cancer patients.
METHODS: In 2012, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer surveyed members asking about tobacco assessment and cessation practices for cancer patients. Responses from 1153 physician level oncology providers were analyzed to evaluate the effects of respondent demographics, tobacco use perceptions, and perceived barriers to providing cessation support on practice patterns.
RESULTS: Respondents from the United States generally reported higher rates of asking about tobacco use, advising patients to quit, and assisting patients in quitting smoking. Work setting, time since completing a terminal degree, percent of time devoted to clinical care, and history of tobacco use were generally associated with asking about tobacco use and advising patients to quit, but not associated with discussing medications or actively treating patients. The dominant multivariate barriers to providing cessation support were a lack of clinician education or experience and lack of available resources to refer patients for smoking cessation support. Patient resistance to treatment, inability for patients to quit smoking, or feeling that smoking was not an important part of cancer outcome or cancer care had less meaningful associations with providing support.
CONCLUSIONS: Improving clinician education and developing dedicated resources to provide cessation support were identified as ideal targets to address for improving cessation support for cancer patients.

Farley A, Aveyard P, Kerr A, et al.
Surgical lung cancer patients' views about smoking and support to quit after diagnosis: a qualitative study.
J Cancer Surviv. 2016; 10(2):312-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Evidence suggests that quitting smoking improves symptoms as well as disease-related mortality for cancer patients. However, smoking cessation support is typically not well integrated into routine cancer care even in the case of lung cancer.. We explored surgical lung cancer patients' views about smoking and about their preferences for support to help them to quit.
METHODS: We conducted semi-structured, qualitative interviews with 22 surgical lung cancer patients with a smoking history, after treatment with surgery. Data were analysed using the framework approach.
RESULTS: Although diagnosis promoted a successful quit attempt in some, others continued smoking or relapsed after a quit attempt. Most participants wished they were a non-smoker but, in conflict with this, also felt that smoking was enjoyable, helped with psychological coping or had some health benefits. Some also demonstrated a fatalist attitude towards the potential detrimental health effects. However, all participants felt that it was important for health professionals to address smoking and some wanted cessation support although it was often not provided. Participants wanted support to start as early as possible and to continue for the first weeks after discharge.
CONCLUSIONS: Surgical lung cancer patients often stop smoking during hospitalisation, and many want to remain quit but relapse shortly after discharge. Although it is often not provided, many patients want to be offered support to help them quit.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Surveys suggest that clinicians believe that addressing smoking will be difficult and/or unwanted. However, these findings suggest that surgical lung cancer patients would tolerate, and most would prefer, integration of smoking cessation support into routine cancer care.

Macleod LC, Dai JC, Holt SK, et al.
Underuse and underreporting of smoking cessation for smokers with a new urologic cancer diagnosis.
Urol Oncol. 2015; 33(12):504.e1-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) or upper urinary tract (UCUT) and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are smoking-related genitourinary (GU) malignancies. A new diagnosis of smoking-related GU cancer is an opportunity when smoking cessation interventions may have increased effectiveness. Underuse or underreporting of cessation tools in this setting represents potential for quality improvement. We estimated the use of smoking cessation in new smoking-related GU cancer visits based on billing claims.
METHODS: From MarketScan data, over 34 million enrollees aged 18 to 65 years, calendar years 2007 to 2011, were screened for billing codes for index UCB/UCUT or RCC and tobacco use disorder. Qualifying individuals were assessed for claims-based pharmacologic or counseling smoking cessation interventions in the 12 months following diagnosis using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes. Multivariable logistic regression identified factors associated with smoking cessation intervention.
RESULTS: From over 111,453 incident cancers, 5,777 smokers with tobacco-related GU malignancy were identified by billing claims (40% UCB, 46% RCC, 4.2% UCUT, and 9.8% multiple cancers). Claims for intervention were rare (5.3%). Among intervention recipients, 240 (80%) had UCB and 92% had claims for either counseling or medications, only 8% had both. Most claims-based interventions (61%) were within 3 months after GU cancer diagnosis. On multivariable analysis UCB was associated increased odds of claims-based intervention (odds ratio [OR] = 6.27; 95% CI: 4.57-8.60) compared with UCUT and RCC. Other significant factors included more comorbidities (Charlson score = 1, OR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.06-2.13; Charlson score≥2, OR = 1.89, 95% CI: 1.19-3.02 compared with Charlson score = 0) and diagnosis in the latter half of the study period (OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.02-1.67 compared with earlier years).
CONCLUSIONS: Although a new diagnosis of a smoking-related GU malignancy diagnosis offers greater opportunity for provider-driven smoking cessation, timely multimodal claims-based cessation interventions are underreported or underused.

Pezzuto A, Stumbo L, Russano M, et al.
"Impact of Smoking Cessation Treatment" on Lung Function and Response Rate in EGFR Mutated Patients: A Short-Term Cohort Study.
Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2015; 10(3):342-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Erlotinib is a validated drug "for the treatment of patients affected by advanced unresectable non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutations". We want to focus on potential functional benefits deriving from a combined therapy containing TKI (erlotinib) and a nicotinic partial agonist (varenicicline) in smokers.
METHODS: we analyzed the records of patients affected by NSCLC treated undergoing "first line therapy with Erlotinib" and smoking cessation (with varenicicline). Response to therapy was evaluated by CT scan. Data concerning clinical history, smoking habit, nicotine dependence were collected after three months from the beginning of the recruitment. Pulmonary function tests including spirometry with pletismographic technique and exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) were performed with recording of resistances, flows, volumes. A group of ten current smokers affected by NSCLC with EGFR activating mutation and concurrent mild COPD undergoing anti-EGFR treatment without smoking cessation was used to compare clinical and functional data. A control group of NSCLC wild type with mild COPD undergoing smoking cessation was assessed for functional data.
RESULTS: Twenty-five patients were enrolled. All of them reported partial response at CT re-evaluation. All functional indexes and parameters were improved after combined treatment a significant increase of FEV1 level and a decrease of exhaled CO. In particular, a mean increase of FEV1 from 1.93 (SD 0.48) to 2.03(SD 0.46) liters was recorded. A notable reduction of sRAW (specific resistances) was also observed. The improvement of some parameters such as CO, heart rate (HR), sRAW and FEV1 resulted statistically significant. A better response to therapy was found "in the study group compared to the second group of mutated NSCLC patients". In this second group, we also observed an improvement of functional obstructive parameters although it was less remarkable than study group. Only sRAW and FEF 25/75 were significantly increased. The group of NSCLC wild type undergoing only smoking cessation showed a lower increase of FEV1 by about 50 ml compared to the first group.
CONCLUSION: The combination of anti-EGFR treatment and concurrent therapy for smoking cessation seems to be more effective than erlotinib alone in improving lung function and clinical response in advanced NSCLC patients with EGFR-mutations. It is conceivable that erlotinib may potentiate the action of varenicline. We have also outlined some relevant patents concerning varenicline and EGFR-TKI.

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