A recent study assesses a smoking intervention for people with cancer.
It is no secret that smoking is bad for health — smoking, and exposure to tobacco top the causes of premature, preventable death in the United States.
According to the , smoking causes 480,000 deaths a year, or approximately 1 in 5 premature deaths.
Of those deaths, are due to cancer, including cancers of the lung, mouth, bladder, colon, and pancreas; smoking takes its toll on almost every organ in the body.
Once someone receives a cancer diagnosis, they may still find quitting tobacco challenging. However, giving up could significantly improve their outcome.
"[Q]uitting at [the] time of diagnosis increases the chance of survival by 30% to 40%. Patients also have less chance of a recurrence or secondary cancer if they quit," explains Diane Beneventi, Ph.D., one of the authors of a recent study.
Testing the Tobacco Treatment Program
The recent study concludes that a comprehensive treatment program can help people diagnosed with cancer give up smoking successfully and stay away from tobacco.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston analyzed 3,245 smokers who took part in their Tobacco Treatment Program from 2006–2015.
The intervention includes a customized program geared to the individual needs of the nearly 1,200 people who agree to participate each year. Participants are offered nicotine replacement therapy, medication, and emotional support through counseling sessions.
Program director, Dr. Maher Karam-Hage, explains what the Tobacco Treatment Program entails:
"We tailor nicotine replacement therapy, non-nicotine medications, and [a] combination of these as recommendations to each individual and provide support through behavioral counseling sessions over 8–12 weeks following their initial consultation."