Smoking cessation help for cancer patients: Pilot project “Quitting supports treatment!” in National Institute of Oncology
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Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Magdalena Cedzynska   

Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A186
Tobacco smoking adversely affects the course of cancer with increased incidence of surgery complications, complications after radiation therapy, and also decrease the effectiveness of radio- and chemotherapy. Quitting smoking: (1) reduces the incidence of postoperative complications, reduces the healing time of the postoperative wound, (2) increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, (4) reduces the frequency of complications after irradiation (e.g. radiation reaction or mucositis of various organs), (5) reduces the risk of developing another cancer, recurrence and metastasis, (6) reduces pain and increases the quality of life.

To help cancer patients to stop smoking through nurses and proactive service of Quitline.

The program consists of three stages. Stage 1: all patients admitted to cancer hospital are given the questionnaire about the smoking and willingness to stop. Additionally, all patients receive the leaflet on benefits of quitting smoking after cancer diagnosis. Stage 2: if they are smokers and they declare the willingness to stop smoking, their data are sent to Quitline. The counsellors provide a support call/calls to them. Stage 3: if someone declares smoking but does not want to quit, anti-tobacco minimal intervention (MI) is provided by the nurse on ward. If, as a result of the MI, the patient changes his mind, the Quitline counselors will give him a proactive call.

Between September and December, 296 patients received the Quitline call. Only 40 of them wanted a second call and help in quitting. 65% of them changed their smoking habits – 10 (25%) quit smoking completely and 16 (40%) decreased smoking substantially. The assessment of the long-term abstinence will be done after one year from introducing the program.

Proactive service could be effective in helping people to maintain the motivation to quit. The level of knowledge about quitting benefits after cancer diagnosis is low. Further analysis is needed.

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