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Giving Compass' Take:
• Diane Mapes discusses ways for cancer patients to kick the harmful smoking habit that hurts their health more after a cancer diagnosis.
• How can funders increase access to treatments, programs, and supports that help cancer patients quit smoking?
Yes, some cancer patients still smoke.
Tobacco smoking is so addictive that 64 percent of smokers diagnosed with cancer continue to light up even after they learn they have the disease. Many try to quit after diagnosis but can’t because of the drug’s stronghold on their bodies. Others are so stressed about the cancer and its treatment that they continue to use cigarettes as a crutch. Still more are nihilistic, figuring, “Hey, I’ve already got cancer, what does it matter?”
Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its clinical care partner Seattle Cancer Care Alliance know it does matter, though, and point to a host of reasons why smoking cessation is even more important after a cancer diagnosis.
Dr. Jonathan Bricker, a smoking cessation expert, has designed a handful of programs that use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, as a way to turn smokers into nonsmokers. His SmartQuit app, soon to be offered to the general population as iCanQuit, helped 21 percent of its users quit cigarettes, a success rate two to three times higher than other online methods.
Read the full article about smoking after a cancer diagnosis by Diane Mapes at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.