Receipt of Provider Advice for Smoking Cessation and Use of Smoking Cessation Treatments Among Cancer Survivors

  • Elliot J. CoupsEmail author
  • Lara K. Dhingra
  • Carolyn J. Heckman
  • Sharon L. Manne
Original Article



As the number of cancer survivors increases, the assessment and intervention for smoking among survivors are increasingly important.


This study examined the extent to which cancer survivors reported being asked and advised about smoking by health-care providers and their use of smoking cessation treatments during quit attempts.


The data were drawn from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey, an annual health survey of US adults.


The participants were 1,825 individuals who reported being diagnosed with cancer at least 1 year previously and provided data regarding their current smoking status.


Participants completed items assessing demographics, health and health-care factors, and smoking-related variables.


More than three-quarters of participants (81.0%) reported that their smoking status was known by a health-care provider. Among current smokers (17.6%) who visited a health-care provider in the past year, 72.2% reported being advised to quit smoking by a provider. Factors associated with a higher rate of receiving advice to quit included greater cigarette consumption (P=0.008), more medical comorbidities (P= 0.001), high psychological distress (P= 0.003), and lack of health-care insurance (P = 0.03). Among current smokers who tried to quit in the last year, 33.5% used pharmacotherapy cessation treatment and 3.8% used an evidence-based behavioral treatment.


This study reveals considerable missed opportunities for health-care providers to advise cancer survivors about smoking and provide evidence-based interventions. Systematic efforts are needed to increase the provision of smoking cessation advice and use of cessation treatments among cancer survivors.


smoking tobacco use counseling smoking cessation cancer survivors 



This research was supported by National Cancer Institute grants 1K07CA133100–01A1 (Coups), 5K07CA108685–04 (Heckman), 1K05CA109008–05 (Manne), and P30CA006927 (Fox Chase Cancer Center Core Grant), and by the Beth Israel Medical Center Head and Neck and Thyroid Cancer Institute (Dhingra). We thank Lauren Greenberg for her valuable assistance with literature searches. This research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Preventive Oncology, March 2009.

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest associated with this research.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elliot J. Coups
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lara K. Dhingra
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Carolyn J. Heckman
    • 1
  • Sharon L. Manne
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Prevention and Control ProgramFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative CareBeth Israel Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesAlbert Einstein College of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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