publication date: Aug. 30, 2014

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Study: Nine Years After Diagnosis 9.3% of Survivors Still Smoke

Nine years after diagnosis, 9.3 percent of U.S. cancer survivors were current smokers and 83 percent of these individuals were daily smokers who averaged 14.7 cigarettes per day, according to a study performed by researchers at the American Cancer Society.

“We need to follow up with cancer survivors long after their diagnoses to see whether they are still smoking and offer appropriate counseling, interventions, and possible medications to help them quit,” said Lee Westmaas, director of tobacco research at ACS and lead author of the study.

The report was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Researchers analyzed data on 2,938 patients nine years after their diagnoses. Survivors were more likely to smoke if they were younger, had less education and income, or drank more alcohol. About 40 percent of smokers said they planned to quit within the next month, but this intention was lower among survivors who were married, older, or smoked more.

By cancer type, smoking prevalence among patients was: 17.2 percent in bladder cancer; 14.9 percent in lung cancer; 11.6 percent in ovarian cancer; 7.6 percent in melanoma; 7.3 percent in kidney cancer; and 6.8 percent in colorectal cancer.

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