by Donna Manders MPH, Tobacco Cessation Specialist, Smoke Free Life Program, Clinic Coordinator, Lung Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Clinic, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Evidence continues to mount that it is never too late for people to stop smoking, even when facing a cancer diagnosis. Stopping tobacco use can significantly increase cancer patients’ chance of survival and improve their quality of life1. For example, a study published in January, 2010 shows that people diagnosed with early stage lung cancer can double their chances of survival over five years if they stop smoking compared with those who continue to smoke2.
Yet, despite their increased risk of chronic health conditions, second cancers, and premature death, a significant number of cancer survivors continue to smoke. Recent National Cancer Institute data show that cancer survivors aged 18 to 44 report smoking at higher rates than the rest of the population in the United States. Cancer survivors over age 44 report smoking at rates that are similar to the rest of the population3.
Studies show that people who receive tobacco cessation counseling are more likely to quit for good than people who do not receive counseling4. If you have been thinking about quitting and would like assistance in developing a quit plan, contact the SCCA Smoke Free Life Program at 206-288-7766. The Smoke Free Life Program is a service available to patients and their caregivers.
Smoke Free Life counselors can help you develop a personalized quit smoking plan that addresses physical withdrawal from nicotine and emotional and behavioral issues related to using tobacco. If you are interested in using a medication to help control withdrawal symptoms, we can discuss which approach may work best for you. We also provide information about additional resources to aid with quitting.
For more information about the benefits of quitting and the SCCA Smoke Free Life Program, see http://www.seattlecca.org/smoke-free-life.cfm. For daily Quit Tips, follow us at www.twitter.com/SmokeFreeLife.
Q: What resources are available to assist me to quit smoking?