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Preferences for the Provision of Smoking Cessation Education Among Cancer Patients

  • Sampson, Lorna1
  • Papadakos, Janet2
  • Milne, Victoria1
  • Le, Lisa W.3
  • Liu, Geoffrey4
  • Abdelmutti, Nazek5
  • Milne, Robin1
  • Goldstein, David P.6
  • Eng, Lawson7
  • Giuliani, Meredith1
  • 1 Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Department of Radiation Oncology, 610 University Ave, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2M9, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
  • 2 Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Patient & Survivorship Education, Toronto, ON, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
  • 3 Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Department of Biostatistics, Toronto, ON, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
  • 4 Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Division of Medical Oncology, Toronto, ON, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
  • 5 Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Health Promotion and Wellness, Toronto, ON, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
  • 6 University Health Network, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Toronto, ON, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
  • 7 University of Toronto, Department of Internal Medicine, Toronto, ON, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
Published Article
Journal of Cancer Education
Publication Date
Apr 13, 2016
DOI: 10.1007/s13187-016-1035-0
Springer Nature


Many individuals who use tobacco will continue to smoke after a cancer diagnosis and throughout treatment. This study aims to better understand cancer patient preferences to learn about smoking cessation. All new patients seen at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2015 were asked to complete the Combined Tobacco History Survey as part of standard new patient assessments. Smoking status, second hand smoke exposure, years smoked, family support, cessation preferences, demographic and tumour details were collected. Multivariable regression assessed factors associated with smoking cessation educational preferences. Nine thousand and one hundred ten patients completed the survey. One thousand and six hundred ninety-one were current smokers (17 %) of which 43 % were female and median age was 57 years (range 18–95). One thousand and two hundred thirty-eight (73 %) were willing to consider quitting and 953 (56 %) reported a readiness to quit next month. Patients were most interested in pamphlets (45 %) followed by telephone support (39 %), speaking with a healthcare professional (29 %), website (15 %), support group (11 %) and speaking with successful former smokers (9 %). Younger patients (≤45 years) preferred receiving smoking cessation education over the telephone (50 %; p < 0.001), while older patients (46–65 years and >65 years) preferred smoking education to be provided in pamphlets (43 and 51 %, respectively; p = 0.07). In multivariable analyses, older patients were more likely to prefer pamphlets than younger patients OR 1.11 (95 % CI 1.01–1.23; p = 0.03). Older cancer patients preferred to receive smoking cessation education through pamphlets and younger patients preferred the telephone. Tailored provision of cessation education resources for cancer patients is warranted.

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